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Browns missing key players at practice

By Zac

BEREA, Ohio – The Browns took the practice field Wednesday afternoon without two key defensive starters and with just five wide receivers dressed — two of whom are on the practice squad.

D’Qwell Jackson and Ahtyba Rubin, both injured last week at the Giants, were not on the practice field. Neither were wide receivers Jordan Norwood, Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin. Massaquoi (two games) and Benjamin (last week) have been missing. Norwood led the Browns with a career-high nine catches last week.

Per his usual policy, Browns coach Pat Shurmur didn’t discuss injuries in his Wednesday press conference. He said Jackson was “in the building and all the meetings today” but chose to say “we’ll see” when asked if Jackson would be at practice.

Why he wouldn’t just mention that Jackson has a head injury and must be further evaluated, we don’t know.

The Browns will need to make at least one roster move this week with Joe Haden returning from suspension, and Shurmur said the team would evaluate that as the week goes along. Another could come at receiver given the situation, and promoting Josh Cooper from the practice squad seems the most likely move there.

That will probably depend on the availability of Norwood, Massaqoui and/or Benjamin to get back. Their participation (or lack thereof) in Thursday’s practice will probably be a better indicator.

The likely starters at receiver would be Greg Little and Josh Gordon with Joshua Cribbs also available to play a larger role in the passing game.

Cornerback Dmitri Patterson was also missing. He said earlier in the week he has a foot injury and expects to be out a couple weeks.

Scott Fujita was on the practice field, a sign he’s appealing what’s now a one-game NFL suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program.

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