Countdown to The Draft
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By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Observations, notes, quotes and some facts on Day 10 of Browns training camp …
* At the tail end of practice, starting right guard was carted off the field after turning an ankle in a one-on-one blocking drill against nose tackle Phil Taylor.
Coach Rob Chudzinski said he won’t know the extent of the injury until Tuesday. Teammate Jason Pinkston said he didn’t think it was severe and the Browns were just being cautious.
If Lauvao is held out of Thursday’s exhibition opener against St. Louis, Pinkston would be the likely replacement on the first team. He has been alternating at left and right guard all camp.
Pinkston lost his starting left guard spot last when he developed a blood clot that traveled from his leg to a lung and missed the final 10 games.
“I’m still getting there (to regaining his form),” Pinkston said. “I’ve been out of the game for like 6-7 months. It’s still gonna take some time to get used to moving my feet again, moving my hips.
Whether or not he starts in Lauvao’s place against the Rams, it will be a big night for Pinkston. He has not played in a game in FirstEnergy Stadium since Oct. 14.
* As expected, Trent Richardson was back working with the team after missing two practices because of a kick to the right shin he originally injured in May OTAs. Richardson did participate in some team drills, but was given a lighter work load than usual.
Afterwards, Chudzinski would not say if Richardson would play on Thursday. ESPN Cleveland reported Saturday that Richardson has been told he would be held out, per the precautionary plan the Browns have mapped out for him.
“We’re going to be smart,” the coach said. “We have a plan for him, in a general sense. We want him to work to get better and be out here on a daily basis.”
* The biggest revelation of Chudzinski’s first official depth chart was that Chris Ogbonnaya was listed as the first-team fullback ahead of incumbent Owen Marecic. Ogbonnaya, who said his weight fluctuates between 225 and 235 pounds, was used as the lead blocker in goal-line drills on Monday.
“I think it’s fun,” Ogbonnaya said. “It’s a great challenge and I’m trying to accept that.”
With the team’s cautious approach to Richardson and Montario Hardesty still out with a hamstring tendon injury, Ogbonnaya’s versatility is being appreciated by the coaching staff. Dion Lewis and Brandon Jackson shared the reps at tailback on Monday, but Ogbonnaya lined up in several spots required by the fullback.
Chudzinski said, “He’s a guy that can play multiple positions. Sometimes it’s hard to put those guys in two different spots. The thing about depth charts, they don’t always tell the story of roles. There’s a lot of roles on teams that you need that aren’t necessarily covered on a depth chart. A guy that appears sometimes as a third teamer on a depth chart is the first teamer in some sort of role in some situation for a game. Certainly, Oby is a very valuable part of what we’re doing.”
* In one-on-one passing drills, cornerbacks Joe Haden and Chris Owensgot the better of Josh Gordon and Greg Little.
* The Browns did a lot of work on goal line plays. In 14 plays originating inside the 10-yard line, the offense reached the end zone nine times – three through the air, including a reception by Marecic. On the last play, reserve safety Josh Aubrey made the defensive play of the drill, shooting around right end and tackling running back Miguel Maysonet short of the goal line.
* At the end of two-minute drills, the kickers each made field goals of 52 yards.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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