Coach Kevin Stefanski called cornerback Greedy Williams “day-to-day” with a groin injury Monday, but the uncertainty of his return to the practice field could solidify rookie Greg Newsome II as the Week 1 starter.
“Greg is doing a nice job competing on the practice field and in these games,” Stefanski said. “Understand that he is a rookie, but he is a kid who is not making the same mistake twice. He is very diligent about his work.
“Ultimately if he is that guy, he is somebody who we are going to count on. All of those guys when these games start rolling around, you are counting on them. That is nothing new and that is nothing that these guys are not used to, especially playing the cornerback position.”
Less than three weeks remain before the Browns travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs on Sept. 12. Williams missed all of last season with a nerve injury in his shoulder and the coaches wanted him to get as many reps as possible, but he missed practice Friday with a migraine and left the 17-13 win over the Giants on Sunday with the groin strain.
“Day to day means he has to rehab, see how he does tomorrow and see how the injury responds to treatment and that type of thing,” Stefanski said. “We have some time before you have to set the depth chart, before you have to set the 53 (-man roster) and all of those type of things.”
Newsome hasn’t missed a practice or game. He was the No. 26 pick in April.
Due to a series of injuries, the revamped starting defense has hardly been on the field together during camp. Safeties Grant Delpit (hamstring) and Ronnie Harrison Jr. (hamstring), ends Myles Garrett (hamstring), Jadeveon Clowney (unspecified) and Takk McKinley (personal) and cornerback Denzel Ward (soreness) have missed significant time.
“We have worked really hard here in the building, on the practice field and in the meeting rooms to make sure that our guys are on the same page,” Stefanski said. “I value walkthroughs. I think the guys have been locked in in the walkthroughs.
“Ultimately would love to get the entire group out there — offense, defense and special teams — and have the full complement of guys, but injuries are a part of it, and we just deal with it accordingly. It was good to get Myles and Jadeveon out there on Friday and then we will ramp them up. Guys will get healthy as we go here and get more guys in here.”
Kicker Cody Parkey placed on injured reserve as Browns trim roster to 80
BACK IN THE SWING
Defensive tackle Malik McDowell helped his push for a roster spot Sunday with a sack, another quarterback hit and five tackles.
He’s big (6-foot-6, 295 pounds) and powerful but hasn’t played since he was at Michigan State in 2016, as he’s dealt with injuries and off-the-field trouble.
“I thought he did a really nice job, and I am glad that you brought him up because he has not played a game in a long time and he has been through a lot,” Stefanski said. “To see him out there making plays, his teammates were excited for him. He continues to grind. He continues to work at this thing. I thought he had a nice day.”
McDowell missed time in the offseason with an injury and in camp with a rib injury.
“Had a couple of injuries that set him back but stayed into it with the walkthroughs and stayed into it in the meeting rooms,” Stefanski said. “He is a guy who is really, really battling. He is working very, very hard as we get through this training camp.”
Stefanski wouldn’t commit to receiver Odell Beckham Jr. getting his first reps in team drills this week. He’s been limited to individual drills and extra work with quarterback Baker Mayfield as he returns from a torn anterior cruciate ligament last season.
“The whole point of this has been to do this thing at the appropriate speed and do it with the consultation of the medical team,” Stefanski said. “We will continue to do that. I do think that there will be a point where he is in team drills and those type of things, but we will make sure he is ready for that.”
** Stefanski said Delpit and rookie receiver Anthony Schwartz are “progressing well” from hamstring injuries and he’s hopeful one or both will be able to practice this week.
Stefanski wasn’t ready to say if the starters will play Sunday against the Falcons in the preseason finale. They haven’t played in the first two games and aren’t expected to Sunday.
** Garrett was named the team’s ambassador to University Hospitals. Garrett and UH will collaborate on health care and wellness issues.