BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – David Njoku’s tough training camp continued Thursday when he left practice early because of a back injury.
After practice head coach Hue Jackson was unable to provide many details beyond the hope that it isn’t too serious.
“I think he will be fine,” Jackson said.
Jackson isn’t sure if Njoku will be able to participate in Friday evening’s annual Orange and Brown scrimmage at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“I think it flared up right at the start of practice,” Jackson said. “Those backs are kind of tricky. You start feeling good and things lock up a little bit. I don’t think it is anything major. I think we will be fine. We will definitely take a good peak at it.”
Njoku, selected 29th overall following a trade with Green Bay, is expected to replace veteran Gary Barnidge who was released a day after he was drafted but has been inconsistent throughout camp.
“Obviously, it puts a lot more pressure on us without Gary here,” Njoku said earlier in the week. “In the tight end room, we all have to step up and play that much harder, whether that’s in practice or in games to fill that spot that Gary left.”
He’s dealt with getting stripped by defenders and dropping passes in between making difficult and spectacular catches in traffic.
“He is frustrated that he’s dropped a couple of balls, but he has made some spectacular catches, as well,” tight end coach Greg Seamon said Thursday before practice. “Every young player goes through a little bit of that. You want to be precise in your routes and you want to be where you are supposed to be. As it becomes more natural, he will relax and will make plays.”
In 2 years at Miami – his first as a tight end – Njoku caught 64 passes for 1,060 yards and 9 touchdowns combined which is why Jackson isn’t too concerned with the 6-foot-4, 246-pounder’s ability to make plays.
The only concern now is that Njoku’s back won’t be a problem.
Back To The Twos – After getting his first snaps with the first-team defense Wednesday, Myles Garret was back with the twos Thursday.
“It is just back and forth,” Jackson said. “It is nothing. I think we know that Myles is a starter on our football team so I think that is the end of that discussion to be honest with you.”
Garrett and rookie tackle Rod Johnson scuffled after a play, resulting in Johnson being taken to the ground after having his facemask yanked.
Measuring Accountability – Add linebacker Tank Carder to the list of Browns that have been with the team for a few years who are enjoying playing for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
“I love the way it’s going because he makes everyone accountable,” Carder, who has been with the Browns since 2012, said. “In the past, we talked about accountability, but it wasn’t really applied.”
Carder, a long-time special teams ace and tackling machine, is in line to be the starting inside linebacker in Williams’ revamped 3-4 defense.
Standing Out – Jackson was asked who has stood out to him through 7 practices and he mentioned 5 players – DL Trevon Coley, LB Deon King, OT Shon Coleman, OT Cam Erving and RB Matthew Dayes.
“That is exciting for me because those are guys that have a chance to be some bedrocks for our football team,” Jackson said.
Injury Report – DL Caleb Brantley (finger), OL Gabe Ikard (concussion), DB Ed Reynolds II (knee) and DB Howard Wilson (knee-PUP).
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)