BEREA, Ohio — Eric Mangini said that he thought Sheldon Brown would be back at practice later this week.
Brown said he’s optimistic that he will keep his appearance streak intact. He has appeared in 137 consecutive games, which is the second longest currently in the NFL.
“I feel a lot better,” Brown said. “It was a freak accident. It was a car crash you don’t want to be a part of.”
Brown said he suffered a stinger when he collided with Braylon Edwards, helmet-to-helmet.
“My strength is pretty good and that’s how I gauge it,” he said. “The MRI’s and everything came back fine.”
Brown was asked if he’s optimistic about playing Sunday.
Brown said he feels blessed to have played as long as he has without any major injuries and how much he missed not being out there.
“It helped me realize you never know what play will be your last, so you really cherish being out there.”
The Browns have carried just three true cornerbacks most of the season with Mike Adams filling in as the fourth cornerback. The Browns did sign cornerback Eric King on Tuesday, but if Brown is not able to play, the Browns depth at the position will be severely tested.
Brown has 35 tackles with four passes broken up and two interceptions.
Banged-Up Browns: After the Browns had a full roster practicing at the end of last week, they come into this week banged up a bit. Mangini said seven players will not practice Wednesday, not counting Billy Yates, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
Scott Fujita (knee), Josh Cribbs (toes), Eric Barton (undisclosed),Sheldon Brown (shoulder), Floyd Womack (knee), Eric Steinbach (calf), Shaun Rogers (ankle) will all miss Wednesday’s practice.
Mangini said he still thinks Fujita will play again this season, but didn’t say when. Mangini said it will take a team effort to replace him.
“He’s really bright and he helps with the checks and calls,” Mangini said. “If you take him out of the mix, other guys have to fill the role.”
One of the players absorbing some of Fujita’s roles is Barton, but Mangini said he expects he and Womack back Thursday. He said that Cribbs and Brown should return this week.
New Guys: The Browns signed Clifton Smith and Eric King to the active roster. Smith is a kick returner and if Cribbs isn’t able to play, he will likely step in.
“If it doesn’t go the way you hope it goes, both players will help in coverage and the return game,” Mangini said.
Changing of the Guard: With Billy Yates going to injured reserve, the door is open for Shawn Lauvao to claim the right guard spot. The only question is with John St. Clair returning, is will Floyd Womack be moved back to guard and St. Clair placed back at right tackle. If Womack stays at tackle, Lauvao will most likely be the starting guard.
“I thought Shawn did a really nice job in about 60 plays,” Mangini said. “Floyd has done a good job at tackle, but John has as well.
“Moving (St. Clair) in to a backup role last week was the right thing to do, in terms of how he has progressed,” Mangini said. “He’s a week further along.”
Carey Story: Former Browns defensive back Don Carey is starting for the Jaguars after the Browns tried to sneak him through waivers after being injured in training camp. The Brown were intending to place him on injured reserve when the Jaguars claimed him.
“No team had claimed a sixth-round draft choice or lower in six years prior,” Mangini said. “We liked him.”
Carey was a sixth-round draft choice of the Browns in 2009.
“We started Don at cornerback, but he’s more suited for safety and he’s playing well for us,” Jaguars’ coach Jack Del Rio said.
Jerome’s Burning: Former Browns running back Jerome Harrison rushed for over 100 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run in his first extensive playing time with the Eagles against the Redskins on Monday Night Football.
Mangini was asked why that didn’t happen with the Browns.
“I didn’t watch the game.”
About Zastudil: Punter Dave Zastudil was waived Tuesday and it was curious because he was on injured reserve. Mangini was asked the reason and he deferred to team president Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert.
“You’d have to talk to Tom and Mike about that.”