BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Defensive tackle Danny Shelton and the Browns are awaiting results of an MRI on Shelton’s calf muscle that he injured during practice Wednesday.
Shelton, who was able to finish practice Wednesday but he did not practice Thursday, didn’t sound too concerned about the injury Thursday afternoon as he spoke right outside of the Browns’ locker room.
“[It happened] toward the end of practice. It was just weird. Something happened, but I should be good,” Shelton said. “I should be good. Hopefully the MRI’s good and the doctor thinks I’m cleared and everything. But we’re just going to continue to do the precautionary steps with [head athletic trainer]Joe [Sheehan] and get the right rehab and treatment for me right now.”
It is unclear if Shelton will even be able to play Sunday against Cincinnati depending on what the MRI results reveal.
“Danny has been playing well,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “Danny has been contributing to our defense and doing extremely well. It is unfortunate, but those things happen. Hopefully, it is nothing major. I don’t know that for sure. I’m not sure it is, and I’m not sure that it is not. We will see where we are as we go through the end of the week.”
Shelton is coming off his strongest game of the year that saw him register 7 tackles, including 2 of them for a loss at Indianapolis.
News of Shelton’s injury came on the same day that rookie defensive end and top pick Myles Garrett returned to practice after a 3-week layoff.
“Myles seems like bad luck for me or something. Every time he wants to come out to practice, I end up going in to get treatment,” Shelton joked.
“You never know, but I’m pretty confident that I’ll be good,” Shelton said. “I feel a lot better from yesterday and just working with the trainers and doing the treatment, it’s made it feel a lot better.”
New Challenge – Left tackle Joe Thomas has a new face to worry about within the AFC North – Bengals linebacker Carl Lawson.
“Last week, he had 3 1/2 sacks,” Thomas said. “One got taken away because they had 12 men on the field, but he had a career game and I think it was really a breakout game for him. He has a lot of ability, a lot of nice pass rush moves. He is going to be a good challenge for us.”
Thomas is used to facing the top rusher from a defense but he is doing his homework on Lawson, a fourth-round pick out of Auburn, so he’ll know what he’s going to be up against this week.
“There is an element of unknown that you have to kind of prepare for,” Thomas said. “You watch all the film you can and you try to get ready as much as you can, but for a guy that you have never played against, there is a little bit of an unknown that kind of plays into it so there is some anxiety more than going against a guy like a [Ravens OLB Terrell] Suggs or a [Steelers DE James] Harrison that you have played 17, 18 times throughout your career.”
Next Steps Undecided – After 21 Browns players took a knee for the national anthem Sunday in Indianapolis as part of a league-wide protest against comments made by president Donald Trump, the team is undecided what they will do this Sunday.
“The conversations have been more about what’s going on [right now],” cornerback Jason McCourty said. “The conversation has been where do we go from there. The tough part of it is we’re all a team and within that team you have 53-63 individuals where you’re all trying to come together and unite and find some type of situation where you can appease everybody within our locker room.”
Whatever they do decide, it will be done as a team.
Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam along with McCourty, linebacker Christian Kirksey and tight end Randall Telfer were among a large contingent of owners and players around the league to meet Tuesday night with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the protests.
“The NFL is special,” Kirksey said Thursday. “Trump saying what he got to say is just uniting us, player-wise, ownership. As long as we stay together Trump can say whatever he wants to say. His comments were definitely disturbing, and as a leader of this country, it kind of belittles him to say things like that.”
Trump has spent the last few days continuing his attack on the NFL on his Twitter account while refusing to apologize or back down from encouraging owners to fire players who protest during the anthem and referring to them as a “son of a bitch” at a rally last Friday night in Alabama.
“He just wants to create controversy and have people be divided,” Kirksey said.
Injury Report – DNP: LB Jamie Collins (concussion), DT Danny SHelton (calf); LIMITED: WR Kenny Britt (knee), DE Myles Garrett (ankle), WR Sammie Coates (hamstring), RB Isaiah Crowell (shoulder), RB Duke Johnson (shoulder), TE Randall Telfer (knee), DL Emmanuel Ogbah (shoulder); FULL: Joe Thomas (knee/rest), RG Kevin Zeitler (thumb)