BEREA - For a coach that needs some good news, seeing linebacker D'Qwell Jackson practice Thursday had to make Browns coach Pat Shurmur's day.
Jackson suffered a concussion last week in a loss to the New York Giants. He missed Wednesday's practice, but his return Thursday was an indication that he might play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The defense needs all the help it can get against the run. Through five games the Browns are 26th in rushing defense, allowing 142.4 yards a game.
The Giants gouged the Browns on the ground, churning out 243 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw had 200 yards on 30 carries.
Jackson's absence was telling after he went down late in the second quarter. Bradshaw had 135 of his total after Jackson exited, including 120 in the second half.
"The big runs are what hurt you," defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said. "You'll get some 8- to 10-yard runs where they break for 20, 25 or 30. We have to hold those runs down, and then you can keep it under control, and we didn't do that.
"The loss of D'Qwell was a big loss. Everyone has injuries in the league. We have to find a way to patch the holes and keep moving and play at a higher level."
LETTING IT SLIP: Joshua Cribbs let a secret slip when he told reporters that rookie receiver Josh Cooper will be on the active roster Sunday. Cooper has been on the practice squad since the start of the season, but with just three healthy receivers available there's a need for more depth.
Cooper was quarterback Brandon Weeden's teammate at Oklahoma State. The Browns signed him as a rookie free agent.
WHAT WALL?: Running back Trent Richardson was asked about hitting the proverbial rookie wall. It's a dead-leg syndrome that often strikes rookies late in the season.
Richardson scoffed at the idea of slowing down.
"I don't care about the rookie wall," Richardson said. "People talk about that stuff. You notice my last few seasons in football were being in championship games.
"The way we practice at Alabama is a game situation. (Crimson Tide coach Nick) Saban made us scrimmage all the way to our bowl game, which was most likely the national championship game, which is like five days before the Super Bowl. I don't think I'll hit the rookie wall any time soon."
Players from different position groups hit the wall at different times. Running backs tend to have more of a problem because of the physical nature of their job assignment.
"I concern myself with it a little bit," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "As the head coach I need to be aware of how that rookie wall affects all our players and how they treat their bodies. I'm glad to hear he doesn't think it's an issue, so I'll worry about everybody else."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Weeden will celebrate his 29th birthday Sunday. He's only played one other time on his birthday, which was during his sophomore season at Sante Fe High School in Edmond, Okla.
"We did win, though," Weeden said. "It would be a heck of a birthday present."
INJURY REPORT: Not able to practice Thursday were receiver Travis Benjamin (hamstring), receiver Jordan Norwood (foot), safety Tashaun Gipson (knee), receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (calf) and linebacker Scott Fujita (shoulder/neck). Fujita practiced Wednesday.