BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns cornerback Dimitri Patterson was the only player not on the practice field Monday as the Browns returned from their bye week.
Patterson remains sidelined with a sprained left ankle and has missed the last 4 games as a result.
Despite Patterson not being ready to go anytime soon, there was good news – the defense is getting healthier and deeper.
Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin returned to practice Monday morning. Rubin missed 3 of the last 4 games – including the last 2 – with a calf injury.
“I’m doing everything that I can to hurry up and get back,” Rubin said. “It feels good to be out there instead of in some training room or getting rehab so it feels good.”
Rubin has 21 tackles and a sack in 6 games this season and is anxious to play alongside Phil Taylor for the first time since last season.
“When we’re in there, if I’m not making plays he’s making plays,” Rubin said. “We’re both hustling, getting to the ball. When we’re in there we get the job done so when we’re in there, it’s nothing but upside.”
Taylor was activated from the PUP list on Nov. 2 after recovering from a torn pectoral muscle which he injured in May. He made his debut against the Ravens prior to the bye playing approximately 50 percent of the snaps.
“I could’ve played more but it was my first game back so I didn’t want to overdo it,” Taylor said. “We kind of scaled down how many plays I would have but 33 plays was more than I was going to play at first but I felt better. I felt real good so I played more.”
With Taylor and Rubin returning and side by side, it will provide Dick Jauron the ability to rotate the defensive line – especially defensive tackles by bringing rookies Billy Winn and John Hughes off of the bench.
Both played well in the absence of the 2 starters. That depth they now have excites Taylor
“I’m really excited about it because we know what we’re capable of doing,” Taylor said. “So we just have to go out there and do what we’re [supposed] to do.”
Cornerback Joe Haden was thrilled to see a healthy and full strength defensive line for the first time all year at practice. He can;t wait to see it Sunday in Dallas.
“I was out there for the walk-through and I saw my boys in front of me,” Haden said, “Just having that week to get everyone healthy, get that energy back going and when I saw them I was crazy excited.”