By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat Reporter

BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns are bracing for the ‘Pineapple Express.’

Not the movie but the storm of heavy wind and rain that is about to hit the bay area this weekend when they play the Raiders in Oakland.

“Yeah, what are they calling it? Pineapple Express? I guess there’s a fancy name for the storm,” coach Pat Shurmur joked. “I’m not a meteorologist, I’m going to handle that in the offseason. The reports are that it’s supposed to rain throughout the week so we’ll prepare for it. Our guys do a pretty good job of holding onto the football.

“The challenge will be the same for both teams and then we’ll just see what the field conditions are like.”

Offensive coordinator Brad Childress said that the weather won’t affect their approach or gameplan.

“No, you really factor in trying to beat the defense that you think you’re going to see,” Childress said. “I don’t think they’ve got a typhoon defense or something like that they’re going to play in certain situations. While our special teams coach may have a typhoon return, I don’t think we have a typhoon offense.”

The Browns beat the Chargers in similar conditions 7-6 earlier this season and there are some who don’t mind playing in the wind and rain. In fact some are getting used to playing in less than ideal weather this season.

“We’ve been playing like that all year,” running back Trent Richardson said. “There’s only been about 3 games [where is hasn’t been] rainy or sloppy. I’ve been playing like that my whole life so there isn’t really a big difference for me.”

Richardson ran for a season high 122 yards and a touchdown in a 7-6 victory over San Diego in the wind and rain at Browns Stadium.

Left tackle Joe Thomas loves playing in the mud.

“It’ll be like when we were kids playing in high school in those torrential downpour games so I think it’ll be fun,” Thomas said. “I think we’re all mudders on the O-line.”

Looking Good: Quarterback Brandon Weeden practiced again Thursday. Weeden, who sustained a mild concussion against the Steelers, was cleared to practice and play Wednesday morning.

“He went through practice, did everything, looked fine, looked good,” Shurmur said.

Weeden is listed as ‘limited’ on the Browns’ injury report Wednesday but a ‘full’ participant Thursday.

“There’s rules regarding it, and we want to make sure we follow them,” Shurmur said. “And we tend to overdo it sometimes. But he’s coming back from an injury that he suffered on Sunday, so we need to make note of the fact that he’s been injured.”

Just Like Joe: Left tackle Joe Thomas has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first 5 seasons and Childress see’s someone similar to Thomas on the offensive line – rookie right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.

“I’d say they’re very, very, very similar,” Childress said. “I think Joe’s probably ahead of him in terms of hand fighting and using his arms and length. But Mitchell’s a very quick study and he rarely makes the same mistake twice. I think he’s the chief note-taker of that group. Everybody gets the Cliff notes from him. He’s the scribe. He’s pretty good.”

Childress said that Thomas has been an anchor on the left side of the line because of his smooth technique and ability to use his hands and feet effectively.

“He’s got great feet,” Childress said. “He’s got great reach and can keep defenders away. He’s got good balance and the ability to sit down on a bull rush. He’s very smart and takes great notes and prepares well.”

Still Out: Josh Cribbs and safety Usama Young missed their second consecutive practice Thursday.

Cribbs sustained a shoulder/chest injury in Sunday’s 20-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers while Young suffered a concussion.

Shurmur was vague as usual about both of their statuses this week against the Raiders.

Back At It: Special-teamer Ray Ventrone returned to practiced Thursday after missing the last 2 games due to a calf injury.

Ventrone was back on the field for the first time since Nov. 14.

Injury Report: Did Not Practice: KR/PR/WR Josh Cribbs (shoulder/chest) and S Usama Young (head).

Limited Participation: DB Ray Ventrone (hand/calf) CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and TE Alex Smith (chest/ribs)

Full Participation: QB Brandon Weeden (head), DB Johnson Bademosi (hip/shin), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), RG Shawn Lauvao (arm), RB Trent Richardson (chest/ribs/finger), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder/finger) and S T.J. Ward (knee).


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