BEREA, Ohio— The Browns received some good news when Josh Cribbs returned to practice Friday and Eric Mangini said he expects him to play this Sunday.
“Josh is practicing,” Mangini said. “Barring a setback he’ll play Sunday.”
Mangini said the return of Cribbs helps in many areas, from the return game, passing game and even the running game, in terms of the wildcat.
“He does so many things and so many things well, it creates a lot of options,” Mangini said. “His ability in the return game causes teams to deal with us differently. There are so many elements.”
Cribbs left the game when he was hit in the head by Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison last Sunday. He asked the team trainers and doctors to go back in the game, but since he suffered a concussion, he had to leave the game.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Massaquoi, who also suffered a concussion missed Friday’s practice and most likely won’t play against the Saints, even though Mangini wouldn’t rule him out.
Colt to Start?: Mangini didn’t rule out Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme for Sunday’s game, but neither practiced Wednesday through Friday.
Mangini said that Wallace was ahead of Delhomme in the healing process, but gave no timetable.
“Colt had a good day and has made strides,” Mangini said about his Thursday practice.
Womack at Tackle: Floyd Womack will likely move to right tackle with the injuries to John St. Clair and Tony Pashos. Womack played the final six games in 2009 at right tackle when the Browns had so much success running the ball.
“I thought he played well,” Mangini said. “I really liked him, even before he was here. He played all over the offensive line. ‘Chop’ is one of those guys that nothing fazes him and no matter where you put him he’s going to do a nice job.”
If Womack goes to right tackle, either rookie Shawn Lauvao or Billy Yates will replace Womack at right guard.
“Shawn was in there one day and Billy the next day,” Mangini said. “They alternated. It will be one of those two. Steve (Vallos) will be the backup center.”
If Lauvao makes his NFL debut, Mangini expects him to do well.
“There are some growing pains but if Shawn does get the opportunity he will do a fine job.”
Injury Update: Other than Wallace and Delhomme, John St. Clair and Mohamed Massaquoi did not practice Friday. Massaquoi was not ruled out by Mangini.
Mitchell Ready: Rookie receiver Carlton Mitchell might be active for Sunday’s game with Massaquoi unlikely to play.
Mangini brought up Mitchell’s name without being asked about him prior to Thursday’s practice.
Mangini was asked about Shaun Lauvao and in his answer he brought up Mitchell.
“Carlton has had a good two to three weeks and things are starting to show up and anytime he could get a real live opportunity.”
Later, Mangini was asked specifically what Mitchell is doing better.
“He’s catching the ball and he’s running routes better,” Mangini said. “He’s getting reps each week with the offense. His routes are sharp and I really like his effort on the show team.”
Mitchell was a sixth-round draft choice from South Florida in April.
Mitchell said he feels he’s ready for the opportunity.
“Being the type of person I am, I feel I’m getting better every week,” he said. “Coming out of the preseason, I thought I was ready, but being around the vets has helped me.”
Impressed with Condoleezza: Mangini said he was very appreciative of former Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice’s visit to the Browns.
“She was so impressive,” Mangini said. “Her accomplishments are so impressive, but being a die-hard Browns fan, made it that much more enjoyable.”