Receiver Amari Cooper injured his hip Thursday in practice, didn’t practice Friday and was listed as questionable to face the Bengals on Sunday in Cincinnati.
Cooper said he “should be” able to play as he walked through the locker room after practice.
“It happened in practice and just did not feel like he was able to go today,” coach Kevin Stefanski said. “Just have to really take this one over the next couple of days and see where it lands.”
Deshaun Watson doesn’t know when he’ll find his Pro Bowl form, but ‘when it clicks it, it clicks and everyone will feel that’
Cooper was the only Browns player with a designation on the official injury report. Everyone else is available to play, including No. 3 receiver David Bell, who didn’t practice Friday with a toe injury and has been battling a bruised thumb.
Cooper, who leads the Browns (5-7) with 61 catches for 832 yards and seven touchdowns, got his usual day of rest Wednesday, then the hip issue cropped up Thursday and he was limited. He watched Friday’s session.
The lack of practice time isn’t ideal as he tries to improve the on-field chemistry with quarterback Deshaun Watson, who returned from an 11-game suspension last week and struggled in the win over the Texans.
“Yeah, it can happen in practice, but you have to practice full speed,” Cooper said Thursday of developing timing with Watson.
“It is what it is in that regard,” Stefanski said. “I do think those guys have gotten a lot of reps together over the last months and going back to the spring and summer. Obviously you would like to get them live reps today, but it is what it is.”
Tight end Pharaoh Brown (illness) and defensive end Chase Winovich (knee) returned to practice after sitting out Thursday. Tight end David Njoku (knee) is good to go after missing the Texans game.
“Dave has looked like himself really,” Stefanski said. “He looks good.”
** For the Bengals, tight end Hayden Hurst (calf) was ruled out.
Notes: Greg Newsome II was thinking TD, missed chance for first INT
Linebacker Tony Fields II scored his first NFL touchdown against the Texans on an interception return, ran toward his dad in the stands and threw him the ball. The pass was short.
Wearing a No. 42 Browns jersey in honor of his son, the father reached and leaned forward for the ball, fell on people for about four rows and hit the ground. He hung onto the ball, got up, stood on top of the wall and showed off the souvenir.
“Pop has some history being an athlete, he played at BYU, so pulled it out of his butt after 20 years,” Fields II told The Chronicle.
Fields fam making plays all over the stadium! Pops mossed an entire section 😂👏@T_Fields1 | @TonyFieldsSr21 | #Browns pic.twitter.com/VR7NsJHqZV
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 8, 2022
He didn’t feel bad about the underthrow.
“He never played me at quarterback, so that’s his fault, too,” Fields said. “He was my coach my whole life.”
The video got traction on social media, and Fields enjoyed the responses, especially from family and friends. Fields said his dad sustained a single scrape on his shin.
WORK PAYS OFF
Rookie defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey is “really coming on right now,” according to line coach Chris Kiffin. Winfrey, a fourth-round pick, got off to a rough start, including missing games for a disciplinary reason and as a healthy scratch, but returned to the lineup the last two games and had a career-high six tackles in a career-high 37 snaps vs. the Texans.
“As we all know, he has to put in a full week’s work to be rewarded on Sunday and he’s done that and he’s getting better,” Kiffin said. “The guy plays hard.
“When he’s here and he puts a full week together and he is available on Sunday, then he’s showing what he’s capable of doing.”
Not only is linebacker Reggie Ragland adjusting to a new team after being signed off Las Vegas’ practice squad Wednesday, he’s learning the 4-3 scheme after spending most of his seven-year career in the 3-4.
“It’s fun getting adjusted and everything,” he said. “I’m catching on quick, too.”
Ragland has known linebacker Deion Jones since high school, which has helped the transition. Stefanski said Ragland is “very, very smart” but the coaches want to make sure he’s comfortable before asking him to contribute on defense.
“Ah, sh–, if they need me to go now I could go,” Ragland said. “I’ve been playing football a long time, so it’s really just mainly finding where you fit at in the scheme and understanding where the safeties and everything come down from. Whenever they call me I’m going to be ready.”