Countdown to The Draft
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By Tony Grossi
Extra Points …
Hold the phone: Everyone anxious to see Trent Richardson carry the ball against live tackling, scoot beneath blockers, plow through tacklers … may have to wait another week.
Richardson’s status for the preseason opener Friday in Detroit is now in doubt. He missed Tuesday’s practice with a sore left knee. It’s the same knee on which Richardson had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus after the Alabama season. It prevented him from running at the NFL combine in February.
“We’re evaluating it,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “There’s a chance he won’t play on Friday. I’m always concerned about injuries, but at this point we’ll just find out what it is. He’s been practicing well. Just a little sore.”
The only other practice Richardson missed was on Saturday, when he was pulled about halfway through after complaining about a headache.
Tale of two receivers: Josh Gordon can be spectacular at a moment’s notice, but he definitely is dragging right now.
Gordon displayed good hands early in camp, but he dropped a Brandon Weeden BB on Tuesday over the middle that hit him right in the bread basket. Gordon reacted with a despondent look at his hands. Later, on the sideline, Gordon received some encouragement from veteran tight end Ben Watson.
Shurmur said that Gordon is battling through a case of “camp legs.”
“He’s getting better every day in our eyes. But I would say his mind and body are at battle right now,” Shurmur said. “I think he’ll push through it. This is unlike anything he’s probably ever been through. But he’s getting better and fighting through it.”
Gordon hasn’t played in a competitive game since his sophomore season at Baylor in 2010. He threw together a pro day workout on July 2 after applying for the NFL supplemental draft, and has been catching up ever since.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Massaquoi continues to enjoy his finest camp in four NFL seasons. Massaquoi is holding down a starting spot opposite Greg Little.
"I think the guy that looks totally differently from a year ago to me is Mo,” Shurmur said. “I think he’s done a fantastic job in camp. He came in healthy. He had the right mindset. We’ve played him inside and outside. I see a very focused guy that wants to have a good year.”
Another receiver note: Carlton Mitchell made his first appearance in team drills all camp. He has been out with an undisclosed injury, and the absence has been costly to a third-year player I nominated as “a player to watch.”
“For him to catch up, he needs to stay healthy, stay on the field in practice and when he gets in the game, make some plays. That’s the reality. For guys that miss practice that haven’t proven they can play in this league, they need to practice,” Shurmur said pointedly.
Family Fun Night: The Browns move their practice to Cleveland Browns Stadium Wednesday at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Shurmur doesn’t plan anything more than a typical training camp practice.
|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 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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