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News » Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-27

Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-27

Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-27
After missing the first three games with a strained quadriceps, wide receiver Donte Stallworth appears ready to play in his first regular-season game with the Browns. Barring any setbacks, Stallworth should be in the starting lineup Sunday when the Browns play the Bengals in Cincinnati.

Adding a receiver of Stallworth's caliber would be a boost to an offense that has struggled to find the end zone -- just two touchdowns in the first three games from an offense that scored 402 points last season. The sitting has been frustrating for Stallworth. If he does play, he will take some heat off Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr. He said the injury no longer causes pain, but for a while, he still was not ready to play.

"Pain has nothing to do with it," he said. "It's just a matter of me being able to go out and play well and not get it re-injured. The pain receded after a week or two, but it still has to get strength back in it."

The Browns signed Stallworth to a seven-year, $35 million contract as a free agent in the offseason.


--LB Willie McGinest did not practice Thursday because of a hamstring injury. If he does not practice Friday, he is unlikely to play.

--Starting LG Eric Steinbach missed practice again with a shoulder injury. Seth McKinney is working with the first team.

--LB Kamerion Wimbley was limited in practice with a groin injury.

--WR Donte Stallworth is practicing, but coach Romeo Crennel said Stallworth is "rusty" after missing three games with a quadriceps pull.

--DL Shaun Rogers returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a shoulder injury.

--LB Kris Griffin is still out with a calf injury. He missed the game against the Ravens and did not practice Wednesday.

--The Browns are hopeful safety Sean Jones can play against the Giants on Oct. 13, but he is unable to practice. He had arthroscopic knee surgery Sept. 11.

--WR Braylon Edwards is still bothered by a sore shoulder and was limited in practice.

GAME PLAN: The Browns pass offense is stronger this week because Donte Stallworth should be ready to play after missing the first three games, but the Browns want to get back to the basics of proving they can run the ball. Running back Jamal Lewis was critical of the play-calling for giving up the run too early in the 28-10 loss to the Ravens last Sunday.

Bullish offensive lineman Ryan Tucker could return to the lineup Sunday. He could play right guard or right tackle, the position he played from 2002-2006 until he switched to right guard last year when Seth McKinney was knocked out with a shoulder injury. Tucker is the Browns' best run-blocker.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Browns LB Kamerion Wimbley, who has zero sacks, vs. Bengals QB Carson Palmer, who has been sacked nine times. The Bengals and Browns are mirror reflections. Browns QB Derek Anderson has been sacked eight times after being sacked 15 times all of 2007. Palmer was sacked only 17 times last season. The pressure on Wimbley to produce big numbers is getting strong. Rookie seventh-round draft choice Alex Hall has one sack. Wimbley has none. Bengals left tackle Levi Jones has been flagged for false starts. If Jones concentrates on staying put, Wimbley could scoot by him.

Browns Pro Bowl LT Joe Thomas vs. Bengals rookie LB Keith Rivers. The Bengals have one sack after three games. Rivers has played well against the run with 27 tackles, but he has not gotten to the quarterback yet. Thomas could keep it that way.

INJURY IMPACT: Steinbach did not practice at all last week and he did not play against the Ravens because of a shoulder injury. He still cannot practice. Seth McKinney will start if he cannot play against the Bengals. Not having Steinbach again would be a huge loss.

WR Donte Stallworth is not 100 percent, but if he plays he can take some heat off Braylon Edwards. Stallworth practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday.

The Browns are thin at linebacker. That's a problem, because a sore hamstring that kept Willie McGinest out of the Baltimore game prevented him from practicing on Wednesday.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 27, 2008

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Mike Adams Name: Mike Adams
Position: S
Age: 27
Experience: 5 years
College: Delaware
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