BEREA, Ohio—A bit of a surprise on this week’s injury report was that Jerome Harrison missed Wednesday’s practice with a thigh injury and was not out there on Thursday, as well.
Eric Mangini said he thought Harrison was going to practice Wednesday, but the leg tightened up.
“That sometimes happens, the plan was for him to have some limited reps, and my expectation was he would go out there but sometimes it stiffens up,” Mangini said. ”I thought he would practice Wednesday.”
Mangini did say that he thought Harrison would be able to return to practice on Friday, but didn’t know what his status for the game would be.
If that happens, the load would most likely shift to Peyton Hillis and, possibly, James Davis.
“If Jerome is nursing his wounds and can’t go out there, the rest of the backs need to pick up the slack,” Hillis said.
Hillis has carried the ball 17 times for 76 yards, including two touchdowns and a 4.5 average. Harrison has 25 carries for 85 yards (3.4 avg.)
Davis hasn’t carried the ball in the regular season since the two games he played in 2009 before he injured his shoulder and went on injured reserve. He carried nine times for 15 yards (1.7 avg.) and caught four passes for five yards. His longest run was just five yards.
“I’ve played a lot on special teams and if Jerome doesn’t go Sunday, there is a possibility that I’ll be in a position to play and get some carries,” Davis said. “If he can’t play, definitely, I want to step up and take advantage of the chance to play.”
Davis said that he is doing everything he can to get on the field.
“(The coaches) told me it’s how you practice and if you practice well, you’ll get a chance and I practiced well yesterday.”
Mangini likes Davis’ attitude.
“I love that answer and that’s what you want to hear,” Mangini said. “That is, I’m going to practice so hard you cannot not play me.”
Mangini said Davis had a good start to the week.
“I thought he had a good day and I was pleased with what he did with his chances,” Mangini said. “You never want somebody to be injured, but the guys down the depth chart have their chance when that happens.”
The Browns haven’t been able to get their running game going to the effect they did at the end of the last four games in 2009. They have averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in the first two games with a total of 177 yards on the ground.
“It just takes repetition and getting used to your line and the backs getting used to reading the schemes,” Hillis said. “But I can tell you it’s going to come eventually. I don’t know when it’s going to come, but it’s going to come.”
Hillis said if his number is called to carry the majority of the load, he’s ready.
I’ve got to,” he said. “The Lord put in the position here to succeed and I have to take advantage of it. “
Injury Update: The Browns had their longest injury report to date for Wednesday, including eight players who are listed as doubtful, meaning they didn’t practice on Wednesday. QB Jake Delhomme (ankle), RB Jerome Harrison (thigh), OL Shawn Lauvao (ankle), TE Evan Moore (head), DB Derrick Roberson (hip), WR Brian Robiskie (hamstring), DL Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip) and DL Robaire Smith (ankle). LB D’Qwell Jackson (chest), LB Matt Roth (foot) and OL Floyd Womack (knee) are questionable. OL Eric Steinbach (thigh) and OL Joe Thomas (elbow) are probable.
“The injury report is no different from Wednesday,” Mangini said. “Hopefully, get some of those guys back out there Friday.”
Robiskie injured his hamstring during the first part of practice on Wednesday and Harrison was a surprise as he wasn’t mentioned after the Chiefs game or at Mangini’s press conference.
Mangini was asked if he thought Delhomme’s injury could linger to next week’s game.
“He’s doing better than he was Wednesday,” he said. “He’s getting around pretty well, but you never know with injuries.”
Mangini said Delhomme is still in a walking boot.
“He’ll be in a boot until he’s cleared.”
Mangini said that he expects several of the players to practice on Friday, including Harrison.
“I expect a group of those guys to be back, Friday.”
Moore said he felt fine after getting hit in the head and went back on the field himself before coming out when he didn’t feel right moments later.
“I didn’t black out,” he said. “I said I was alright and went back in.
“Believe me, I’m more concerned with my head than anyone else.”
Moore said he’s symptom free and he’s doing light exercising, but he’s not sure the timetable for being cleared to play.
D’Qwell’s Status: Mangini said that Jackson came through his first contact practice since Aug. 10 in good shape.
“He did,” Mangini said. “It wasn’t a ton of reps, but the portion we had him do, he came through fine.”
Mangini said they will continue to move him through the process.
“He’ll get a few more reps Thursday compared to Wednesday,” Mangini said. “And again on Friday, but each day we have to take a step back and see where he is.”
Mangini said that Jackson is progressing well and could have a role in Sunday’s game with Baltimore.
“At that point, we’ll see where we are and from week to week it changes and someone’s role can change dramatically.”
Jackson said if he plays, it would be a formidable challenge.
“They play power ball,” he said. “They have a lot of good talent over there from receivers to Ray Rice, all across the board. It will definitely be a power game. If I come back, it will be full go and I’m up for the challenge.”
Hostile Environment: The Browns are going to be the opponent for the Ravens home opener Sunday and it can be an intimidating place to play, especially for the Browns younger players. When LB Ray Lewis does his pregame rituals and revs up the team and the crowd.
“It’s their home opener, so it’s going to be loud,” Mangini said. “There’s always a great atmosphere at that stadium and for some of the young guys there only experience with that might have been on Playstation.”
Mangini said the Browns have to focus on the task at hand to be successful.
“It only is an issue if you let it become an issue,” he said. “At the end, it’s not going to be the crowd or their reputation, it’s going to be how you play. I always enjoy those type of games because it’s fun to play in those situations.”