BEREA, Ohio — Former NFL referee Mike Pereira said that T.J. Ward should be fined ‘hard’ for what he termed a ‘cheap shot’ against Bengals’ receiver Jordan Shipley last Sunday.
“I heard about that, I didn’t see it myself,” Ward said. ”The man is entitled to his opinion. I want to let it be known that there was no malicious intent to knock him out or hurt him. It’s just part of the game and I reacted to what I saw and tried to make a play.”
Ward was asked if he thought the hit was violent after seeing it on tape.
“Yes and no,” he said. “The way it happened, I didn’t really try to hit him with everything I had, but still it looked pretty violent. I didn’t try to hit him in the head. It all happened so fast.”
Ward said he hadn’t heard from the NFL regarding a fine. While the NFL will not announce the fine until Friday, reports Wednesday said Ward would be fined $15,000.
Mangini said he doesn’t think the one play will help the Browns, but Ward being known as a hard hitter might.
“I don’t think it’s going to just be that hit, but it’s a body of work,” Mangini said. “He’s had some good hits and that’s a good thing. The receiver might be thinking, if I catch this ball, I’m going to get hit. Sometimes, the receiver gets alligator arms. If you can get an understanding of that, sometimes it affects the receivers, although that’s something that wouldn’t be admitted.”
Ward was asked if he felt if the play will help the team.
“I really don’t know,” he said. “I can’t say. It may have a positive effect or it may have a negative effect.”
Rogers Replaced: Nose tackle Ahytba Rubin is listed as the starter on the depth chart this week for the first time in place of Shaun Rogers. Rubin has 13 tackles with an interception and two passes broken up. Rubin has started all four games, while Rogers has just three tackles in three games. He has battled ankle and hip injuries all season and was inactive against Baltimore.
“That’s a big thing,” Rubin said. “It shows that (Coach) Mangini has trust in you and to be a starting nose tackle in the NFL is a big thing. I take it very seriously and try to go out there every day and show Mangini that it’s not a mistake.”
Rubin said he feels comfortable on the field.
“The game has slowed down for me and I recognize what teams are trying to do against me.”
Injury Update: Defensive back Nick Sorenson, defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman, defensive lineman Robaire Smith, defensive lineman Shaun Rogers and offensive lineman Alex Mack all will miss practice on Wednesday, according to Mangini.
Mangini said Mack’s injury was to the shoulder, but he said he expects Mack to practice before the week is out. Shawn Lauvo, Billy Yates and Tony Vallos will work in his place at center. Mack has not missed a game since being drafted in 2009.
Jake’s Status: Quarterback Jake Delhomme was walking limp free in the locker room and is looking as though he will be ready to start his first game since the season opener. He also was moving pretty well during the first 30 minutes of practice open to the media.
“I would say that’s the approach we’re going with,” Mangini said before practice. “There will be more reps (Wednesday) and the way he wakes up (Thursday) will determine from there how we proceed.”
Mangini said Delhomme’s familiarity with the Falcons from his playing days with the Panthers should help in this week’s preparation for the Falcons.
“Things have changed, but it definitely helps with his familiarity with personnel,” Mangini said.
Seneca Wallace said that the plan is for Delhomme to get more reps this week than last.
“Me and Jake will probably split up the reps in practice more this week than we did last week.”
Mangini said the evaluation of Delhomme’s movement in practice this week will be the determining factor if he plays.
“His ability to move and go through all the normal mechanics of the quarterback position, the five-step, three-step drops, his normal operation in comparison to what it was (before the injury),” Mangini said. “We’ll see what bothers him, what doesn’t and if he can’t do those things.
“If he can’t, we play Seneca.”
Mangini said that the training staff will not take any shortcuts.
“The healing process is the healing process.”
Need a WR?: Mangini was asked if the Browns inquired about obtaining Randy Moss, who was dealt to the Vikings.
“Not that I’m familiar with,” he said.
Are the Browns interested in upgrading their receiver corps?
“It’s not a function of us not looking at receivers,” he said. “That’s ongoing. One component is the trades, waiver wire, off the street, the UFL, off the practice squad. Trades take both parties to feel good about it and it’s not always easy.”
The Mitchell Report: The Browns officially announced they had acquired defensive lineman Jayme Mitchell from the Vikings for an undisclosed 2012 draft choice. To add Mitchell, the team waived defensive back Derrick Roberson.
“Mitchell has good natural pass rushing ability,” Mangini said. “He’s coming from a very different system, but there are things we think he can do in this system.”
Mitchell has not played in the 3-4 at the NFL level.
“It’s a different (scheme), so well have to see how it goes,” Mangini said. “He has a lot of natural ability and it will take time to get up to speed.”
Mitchell (6-foot-6, 285 pounds), who will wear No. 97, signed with the Vikings in 2006 as an undrafted free agent. He played in 29 games with the Vikings and had a sack and a forced fumble. He had one sack this season against the Saints on Sept. 9.
Mitchell seemed a bit shell-shocked in the locker room after joining the Browns Wednesday morning.
“I didn’t see this coming,” he said.
Mangini didn’t say the move was because of the injuries to Robaire Smith, Shaun Rogers and Kenyon Coleman.
“We are banged up front, but it wasn’t really the reason for the move,” he said. “It was the opportunity to get a young guy which you usually don’t get at this time of the season.”
The Browns see him as a good fit in the 3-4, either as an end or outside linebacker.
“I don’t think he’s had much experience in the 3-4,” he said. “He has the body type that you could stand him up as an outside linebacker.”