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Browns rookie WR Corey Coleman eyes return from broken hand next week, plans to pick up where he left off and help team win

BEREA — Corey Coleman is working out and running routes. Only one thing stands in the way of him rejoining the action on Sundays.
“If the trainer tells me I can catch, I’m playing that week,” he said Thursday.
Catching is the essential part of a receiver’s job, but Coleman’s in the final stages of recovery after breaking a bone on the top of his right hand Sept. 21 in practice. He hasn’t been cleared for the impact of the ball.
The hope is the go-ahead comes next week and Coleman can play Nov. 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, his hometown team.
“I feel amazing right now,” Coleman said. “I’ve been doing everything the trainers, strength coaches ask me and more. Now it’s just the wait for when they clear me, fully clear me to catch the football.”
The Browns selected Coleman with the No. 15 pick in April. With a revolving door at quarterback and the lack of Coleman, coach Hue Jackson’s offense hasn’t been at full capacity and the Browns have started 0-7.
“They drafted me here to help win football games and I was just so disappointed because I can’t be on the field playing with the guys,” Coleman said. “I was just really heartbroken. You can’t do anything when you’re hurt. You can’t even attempt to do anything when you’re not cleared to play.
“I have to look at it as like, don’t take anything for granted because this game could be taken from anyone. So that’s why I say it could always be worse and I’m going to be back soon and I’m ready to be back. I’m anxious.”
The injury came three days after Coleman caught five passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns Week 2 against Baltimore. He never lacked for confidence, and the breakout game only boosted it.
He was asked Thursday why across the league the rookie receivers taken early in the draft haven’t made much of an impact.
“Because I haven’t been out there,” he said.
“He believes he’s the best,” rookie receiver Ricardo Louis said. “That shows his confidence, he’s very confident in his ability to make plays. Definitely a first-round draft pick, and his abilities on the field show it.”
Coleman acknowledged adjusting to life in the NFL isn’t easy and described the difficulty of the transition.
“It’s hard to come in when you’re 21, 20 years old, coming to the NFL is big-time game with all these talented men on each and every team, and make a huge impact,” he said. “It takes time. You’ve got to learn stuff. You’re learning a whole new scheme. You’re playing with different people. You’re in a whole ’nother city. It’s just a lot on your plate.”
After an up-and-down preseason and an opener that included two catches for 69 yards and a drop, Coleman found his footing against the Ravens.
“I felt like myself,” he said. “I’m out there comfortable, putting extra time, studying, so I knew everything and I just felt comfortable.”
He expects not to miss a beat when he’s allowed to catch — and play.
“That’s why I’ve been putting in all this work staying in shape and doing a lot of stuff, everything I can do so I can pick up where I left off and help us try and win some football games,” he said.
Coleman will miss his sixth straight game Sunday when the Browns host the New York Jets. His teammates say the eagerness to return is obvious.
“He’s very active right now in terms of really asking a lot of questions in the meeting room,” receive Terrelle Pryor said. “He’s getting anxious and he’s been giving speeches to us. He says, ‘Don’t take this for granted because it can be taken away from you.’ It’s very mature and I’m excited.
“I can’t wait. It’s going to help out a lot. A very lot. And maybe those safeties will stop playing over top of me and I can get a little one-on-one action.”
Coleman said surgery was an option but decided against it after consulting with the doctors, his agent and Jackson. The timelines to return were close, so letting it heal without surgery made sense.
He finally sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m back there on the practice field,” he said. “It feels amazing being out there with the guys. The amount of energy they have and me actually being able to go through drills with them and stuff.”
And he’ll be allowed to catch soon.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or [email protected] Like him on Facebook and follow him @scottpetrak 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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