Peek Out; Spotlight on Hall, Orr

From Berea, Fred Greetham has the latest on what's happened at linebacker, as the Browns continue to reel from preseason injuries. Here's the latest...

BEREA - The Browns have been waiting all preseason for Antwan Peek to return to hopefully, be the complementary pass rusher to Kamerion Wimbley.

That plan will have to wait—indefinitely as Peek suffered a severe injury to his right knee.

"Antwan Peek blew out his knee," Romeo Crennel said. "It look like his right patellar tendon was torn. We are going to have to place him on injured reserve and he will miss the season."

Crennel said the injury was a freak injury as Peek injured the right knee running down the field and making a cut. Crennel said Peek was progressing well and was slated to be the pass rusher from the left side.

Peek had been progressing very well and according to Crennel he was going to play on Sunday.

"He had the scope early and was going to play," he said. "He was doing well."

Crennel said it was tough for the team and for Peek, personally.

"None of the players want to see any of the players get injured because they know how close to home it is."

Now, rookie Alex Hall, Willie McGinest and newly signed Shante Orr will have to take over. Orr's contract was terminated at the final roster cut down last Saturday.

"I've been in this position before," Orr said. "I'm getting another opportunity and I think my versatility will help. I can give us some speed off the edge."

Orr came to the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. He has 10.5 career sacks, including seven in 2005 with the Texans.

"He has flexibility and can play inside and outside," Crennel said. "It's fortunate that Orr was still available and he knows our scheme."

McGinest is listed as the starter, but he primarily has been used on first down against the run. McGinest has also missed time with a groin injury in the preseason.

Crennel said the experience Hall garnered in the preseason will help him.

"He's made some progress," Crennel said. "You flash initially and then more things get put on your plate.

"He started in the preseason which is a plus for us. "

Hall, who was voted the Maurice Bassett Award winner for being the top rookie in training camp by the Cleveland Chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association, said he felt good about his play in the preseason.

"I thought I played well," he said. "The biggest difference will be the atmosphere or environment."

Hall said he's undaunted in jumping from NCAA Division II St. Augustine to playing the Cowboys on Sunday.

"It's unfortunate for (Peek) and the team," Hall said. "I just have to step up and make sure I stay focused.

"I'm sure the Browns didn't bring me in here to just sit around," he said. "It will be a big difference from college, but I'm ready."

Hall was asked if it's better to just jump right in, like getting in the water, rather than just ease in.

"This is like a cannonball."

Crennel said he plans on using both Orr and Hall immediately.

"Both will play and they have to play," he said. "Hall has made played in the preseason and Orr has more experience. Orr has rushed the passer and has showed some flashes in the preseason."

Crennel's goal is to rotate the four outside linebackers to try and keep them as fresh as possible.

"We might have to depending on how the game goes. If we can keep the guys fresh, we think the overall production will be better."

Andra Davis said the entire team will step up.

"There are a lot of guys with ability on this team," he said. "It's unfortunate (the injury) happened, but other guys will step up.

"Alex is doing great," he said. "He's a very humble guy. He's definitely going to have to step up, now."

"We have some depth and now those guys will have to step in," Wimbley said. "It's always hard to lose someone, but Shante is a good player and Alex is coming along."

Notebook

Injury Update: Besides the major injury to LB Antween Peek, Crennel said LB Kris Griffin (elbow), OL Rex Hadnot (knee) and TE Martin Rucker (knee) would not practice Thursday. He said they are still evaluating KR Joshua Cribbs (ankle), RB Jamal Lewis (hamstring), OL Ryan Tucker (hip), DB Brodney Pool (concussion) to see if they would be able to play Sunday.

"We will be evaluating them and the doctor will again tonight and we'll make a determination about Sunday's game."

Crennel said Tucker is starting to ease his way back into the flow of the offense after having surgery on his hip.

"I talked to him and he said he wants to work his way back into it," Crennel said. "He feels good about taking snaps with the pads on the show team."

Crennel said Jamal Lewis practiced and had no ill effects on his hamstring.

"He looked okay," Crennel said. "If he's making progress then by Sunday maybe he'll be where he needs to be. That's a call we might need to make at the game time."

WR Braylon Edwards, QB Derek Anderson and DB Sean Jones are expected to start against the Cowboys.

Bell Ready to Ring: Rookie LB Beau Bell has been practicing and said he's ready to play if called upon. Bell had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to clean out cartilage in the preseason.

"(Wednesday), was my first day back," he said. "I'm trying to do the best to get back out there. Mentally, I'm fine. I feel like I've missed not being out there running around and keeping in football shape."

 

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