OL Cousins getting shot with first team
CLEVELAND – For now, the Browns appear ready to enter the regular season with Oniel Cousins as the starting right guard.
Cousins has worked with the first-team offense this week. Shaun Lauvao opened camp as the starter, but he had surgery on his left ankle after suffering an injury in practice. Jason Pinkston, who replaced Lauvao, suffered a high ankle sprain eight days ago against the Detroit Lions.
Rookie Garrett Gilkey was first off the bench after Pinkston’s injury. While pleased with Gilkey’s progress, coach Rob Chudzinski prefers to go with a veteran of five seasons in Cousins.
The Browns thought they had a veteran to challenge for the job when acquiring John Moffitt from the Seattle Seahawks in a trade for defensive lineman Brian Sanford last Monday. The trade was voided by the Browns, who expressed concern about a knee injury Moffitt suffered in 2011.
Cousins has very little experience playing guard. He practiced the position during three seasons with the Ravens, but he’s played exclusively at tackle.
“The guy is right in your face (at guard),” Cousins said. “When you play tackle you have a little room to do stuff. It’s not much different. Football is football. You prepare yourself and do your assignments and technique. That’s what I’m going to focus on.”
NOT WORRIED: Defensive lineman Desmond Bryant has missed several days because of back spasms. He likely won’t play in either of the remaining two preseason games.
Bryant had similar problems during four seasons with the Raiders but never missed a game.
“The treatments I’m getting now are different than what I was getting at the beginning of training camp,” Bryant said. “It’s really helping me. I’ll be ready to go soon.”
INJURY REPORT: Receiver Davone Bess was given another day off to rest. Don’t expect to see him play Saturday against the Colts. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo (lung) was on a stationary bike. Linebacker Jabaal Sheard (knee) missed practice for a second straight day. Chudzinski said Wednesday that Sheard is day-to-day.
Among others who missed practice Thursday were punter Brandon Bogotay (groin) and cornerback Chris Owens. Bogotay and Bryant have been ruled out of Saturday’s game in Indianapolis.
MOVING UP: Bogotay’s absence will give veteran Shayne Graham an opportunity to handle all the kicking chores. Chudzinski appears to be favoring Bogotay in the competition, but the groin injury could tilt things in Graham’s favor.
Billy Winn will start in place of Bryant. Rookie Leon McFadden gets the ball at right cornerback in place of Owens.
MAKING MOVES: The first of two roster cuts will take place Tuesday. The roster, which stands at 90, will be reduced to 75. The final cut the following week will reduce the roster to 53.
NO CHANGES: Although Chudzinski indicated that discipline for receivers Greg Little and Josh Gordon is in order for their speeding infractions, don’t expect anything this week. The same players he had planned to start against the Colts will get the call Saturday, including Gordon and Little.