Browns starting center Cameron Erving is set to play in the third preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beginning at 8 p.m. Friday at Raymond James Stadium.



The starters are likely to play into the third quarter.



Erving, the 19th overall pick in last year's draft, suffered a sprained ankle earlier this week when the Browns and Bucs held joint practices. He left Wednesday's session early with an athletic trainer.



Coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday he thought Erving would play Friday, but head of football operations Sashi Brown didn't sound as confident Thursday.



"Whenever we lose a player at a starting position, we expect our next guy up to be ready," Brown said. "But we certainly are concerned when we lose a starter. Weíre hopeful and are going to be smart about Camís ankle in monitoring him. But heís a tough guy that wants to be out there every snap. Hue was smart [Wednesday] in kind of pulling him back so he doesnít do further damage in a practice setting."



Although Erving has had issues with shotgun snaps and some problems with pass protection this preseason, Brown gave him a vote of confidence and said the team plans to stick with him as its starting center.



"Thatís Hueís call, but as far as I know thatís certainly the plan," Brown said. "I think heís shown some good things, and itís a young, developing player that will need some time. But weíve been pleased with his body of work. There are some things like all our players he can clean up, but thereís some good signs there."



As expected, wide receivers Josh Gordon (quadriceps), Corey Coleman (hamstring) and Andrew Hawkins (hamstring), cornerback Joe Haden (ankle surgery March 16) and defensive lineman John Hughes (missed two weeks of training camp for a personal reason) will make their preseason debuts after sitting out the first two exhibition games.



So this will be the first time the promising receiving trio of Gordon, Coleman and Terrelle Pryor will appear together in a game.



Defensive end Nick Hayden (knee) and backup running back Raheem Mostert (hamstring) are the surprises among the Browns' players who'll sit out. Hayden had been practicing as the starting left defensive end since Hughes' hiatus began. Mostert is the primary kickoff returner.



They suffered their injuries in Wednesday's practice. Hayden's knee injury is not believed to be severe.



The other Browns players who'll be sidelined are cornerbacks Tramon Williams (toe) and Trey Caldwell (hamstring), wide receiver Ricardo Louis (hamstring), running back Glenn Winston (shoulder) and defensive lineman Nile Lawrence-Stample (shoulder).



The following Bucs players will sit out: wide receivers Louis Murphy and Evan Spencer, running back Mike James, linebackers Daryl Smith and Devante Bond, offensive linemen Kevin Pamphile J.R. Sweezy and Ali Marpet, tight end Luke Stocker and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald.