BEREA - The first positive news concerning Tim Couch's injury emerged Sunday when coach Butch Davis announced that Couch has been cleared by doctors to resume throwing.
Couch is expected to throw on Monday. He wanted to get in some work during Sunday's practice, but Davis didn't like that idea.
"They (doctors) were overridden by the head coach," Davis said. "He suited up and went out and he did a few things at practice. It was much, much better, and he wanted to go out and test it and throw. I told him, 'Even though you feel like you can, one 24-hour period of waiting to go out and test, it's not going to significantly make any difference from a mental and practice standpoint. But it might make a 10 percent difference in total recovery.' "
Davis is taking no chances with the franchise quarterback.
"I can promise you, our organization isn't going to expose anybody, much less Tim Couch, before he's ready," Davis said. "If we don't feel like they're 100 percent or at least reasonably close to 100 percent that they physically can do the job, regardless if it's quarterback, offensive line or defensive tackle, they're not going to go in the game.
"If he proves throughout the course of the week the ability to throw the football and all the other things that he's going to do, then he's going to play. If not, he'll sit."
AT THE LIMIT: The roster was reduced to the regular-season limit of 53 players Sunday. Waived were offensive lineman Konrad Dean; running backs Autry Denson and Carl Fair; wide reciever JaJuan Dawson; linebacker Anthony Denman; defensive linemen Damian Gregory and Mike Sutton, and defensive back Michael Jameson. Jameson is the only player among Davis' two draft groups to be waived.
Defensive lineman Felipe Claybrooks (knee) and quarterback Kevin Thompson (ankle) were placed on the injured-reserve list.
Dawson was the biggest surprise. A third-round draft choice in 2000, he played just two games of his rookie season because of a broken collarbone. He had a slow start last year after breaking a bone in a hand early in training camp, playing in 14 games and finishing with 22 receptions for 281 yards and one touchdown.
Dawson's departure opened a spot for rookie free agent Frisman Jackson, who was impressive from the first day of camp. Jackson is bigger and faster than Dawson, and he can help on special teams.
"We were fascinated with him," Davis said of scouting reports on Jackson. "We had favorable reports on him prior to the draft. We considered drafting him, but we didn't after taking Andre Davis. Then he came in, and he was way better than the reports that were written. He caught everything. He's big and is physical."
Among surprises to make the cut are defensive back Kalvin Pearson and fullback R.J. Bowers. Pearson is an undrafted rookie from Grambling. Bowers was signed last week after being waived by Pittsburgh.
"The guy who came out of absolutely nowhere was Kalvin Pearson," Davis said. "(Defensive coach) Todd Bowles knew him from coaching at Grambling. All of the things that Todd recommended him for were all of the reasons that he made the team. "
GETTING BETTER: Middle linebacker Earl Holmes is showing signs of stepping up his play.
"He's understanding the scheme," Davis said. "I can see him being more vocal out there. His leadership s coming forward a little bit. I think he's on track."