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Browns notes: Jackson emphatic that team won't trade Joe Thomas

BEREA — Mike Florio sent a shot through the heart of every Browns fan Sunday during his rumors segment on NBC’s “Football Night in America.”
The NFL analyst claimed that winless Cleveland was “looking for a second-round pick” in exchange for nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas, adding, “If they get that, they would make the move.”
On Monday, Browns coach Hue Jackson minced no words in dismissing the speculation.
“We are not going to trade Joe Thomas,” he said slowly, emphasizing every word. “Joe Thomas has a lot to do with what we are trying to accomplish here in our future. There are a lot of reports, but that is what they are.”
Thomas hasn’t missed a snap since arriving in Cleveland as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. The Wisconsin product appeared in his 151st career game Sunday when the Browns lost 31-17 in Cincinnati, extending his consecutive offensive play streak to 9,388.
Former Cleveland general manager Ray Farmer came within a whisker of trading Thomas to Denver at last year’s trade deadline, but there has been no indication that current football operations director Sashi Brown has similar intent.
With the 2016 trade deadline set for Nov. 1, Florio said the Giants, Cardinals, Seahawks, Vikings and Patriots are all interested in Thomas. He added that the Browns could “ultimately decide just to get whatever they can and essentially give Thomas away.”
Understandably, Cleveland’s players were relieved to learn about Jackson’s press conference proclamation.
“Definitely, Joe is a great teammate and friend, and he’s obviously a tremendous player,” right tackle Austin Pasztor said. “He’s a great guy to have on our side and in our locker room. You don’t want to lose anybody like that from your team.”
Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor has been watching Thomas play since his days at Ohio State. The converted quarterback said practicing alongside him has only increased his respect, and he hopes they share the field Sunday against the New York Jets.
“Joe sets the standard for us and he’s been a great example for his entire career,” Pryor said. “Film doesn’t lie, and nobody really beats him. You’ll see No. 11 (Pryor) or some other guy mess up on a play, but Joe is pretty much on point every time. He’s very consistent from game to game and from year to year.”
Still struggling
Starting free safety Jordan Poyer spoke with the media for the first time since suffering a lacerated kidney at Tennessee on Oct. 16. Titans running back Antonio Andrews delivered the blind-side hit while the Browns were covering a punt.
“I’m feeling a lot better, but still kind of going through the process of the reality of my season being done,” the fourth-year pro said. “It definitely sucks not being out there with the guys.”
Poyer revealed that he spent a day in intensive care after throwing up blood in the locker room, which was alarming because he thought he only had the wind knocked out of him. He said he is no longer in constant pain, but “I just feel that there’s something in there that’s not right.”
Andrews did contact Poyer, but not until after bragging about the hit on his Instagram account. The NFL declined to issue a fine, which clearly bothered the victim on the borderline play.
“Am I surprised there was no fine? I don’t really know what to be surprised by anymore these days with the fines,” Poyer said. “It is what it is. They didn’t fine him. Good for him, good for his family. I’m just trying to get healthy again.”
Injury update
Browns center Cameron Erving (illness) and quarterback Josh McCown (left shoulder) will have their status updated Wednesday.
Jackson was optimistic that both could play against the Jets, but was unsure if Erving’s ailment was related to the bruised lung he suffered on Sept. 18.
Quarterback Cody Kessler (concussion) was placed in the NFL’s head-injury protocol after absorbing a high hit at Paul Brown Stadium, making him ineligible to practice until the end of the week.
Pryor (hamstring) was limited to 31 snaps against the Bengals, but attempted to sneak on the field for more, much to the coaching staff’s displeasure.
“You have little nick or knack or pain or injury, but I can still try to help in some way,” he said. “That’s why I tried to play a little bit. I was at 80 percent running-wise yesterday, and I’ll be better than that this week.”
Coming, going
The Browns claimed a pair of players off waivers, adding rookie quarterback Joe Callahan from the Saints and center Gabe Ikard from the Bills.
Fullback Malcolm Johnson and rookie cornerback Darius Hillary were released.
Callahan completed 54 of 88 passes for 499 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in the preseason for Green Bay. The Wesley (Del.) College product spent the first five weeks of the regular season with the Packers, then had a two-week stint with New Orleans.
Ikard is in his third NFL season, playing six total games between Buffalo and Detroit. The 6-foot-4, 304-pounder was a member of the Browns for one week in 2015, but was a healthy inactive.
Johnson — a sixth-round pick by Cleveland last year — appeared in 19 games, making nine receptions for 59 yards. Hillary was on the roster for three days and did not play in Cincinnati.
Jackson scolded fans and reporters for questioning why he removed his headset late in the decisive loss to Cincinnati, noting that he was still coaching without it.
“I know you think if you’re going to be involved in football, you have to have that on all the time, but it’s not about the headset, OK?” Jackson said. “Please, it is not at all.
“I hope everybody doesn’t think, ‘OK, well, he just lost it because he took the headset off.’”
The longtime NFL assistant added that he didn’t scream at his players after calling a timeout with 5:02 left in the game, but offered them encouragement to keep competing.
“I’m involved in each and every thing that we’re doing — offensively, defensively and special teams,” he said.
Contact Brian Dulik at [email protected] Follow him @BrianDulik on Twitter.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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