July 28, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
66°F
test

Browns notes: Kevin Shaffer taking it slow

BEREA — Right tackle Kevin Shaffer stayed inside Monday afternoon as the Browns began preparations outside for the opener vs. the Steelers. The sun was bright, and the team is being cautious as Shaffer recovers from a concussion suffered Aug. 25 in Denver.
“A couple days ago the headaches stopped,” Shaffer said Monday before practice. “But that was sitting around doing nothing. The next test is try to do something and see if the headaches come back.”
Shaffer expected to do “light work” Monday in hopes of returning for Sunday. He suffered the concussion when he was hit in the back of the head by a Bronco. Shaffer’s helmet popped off on the play.
“The biggest thing is just the surprise,” he said. “You don’t see him coming. It felt like my head flew off, too, with the helmet. I had to realize my head was still there.”
Shaffer wouldn’t say exactly how many concussions he’s had.
“Not many, but more than one,” he said.
The NFL instituted a stricter policy for dealing with concussions in the offseason after a series of reports criticizing the league for players returning to the lineup too quickly.
“They are definitely are more precautionary right now,” Shaffer said.
If Shaffer can’t go Sunday, Kelly Butler or Nat Dorsey would get the start. Dorsey started in the preseason finale vs. Chicago.

Injury report

Guard Eric Steinbach (knee), defensive end Orpheus Roye (knee), linebacker Andra Davis (ankle) and defensive end Simon Fraser (abscess) returned to practice in limited capacity. Fullback Lawrence Vickers was on the field but not in pads. The Browns are hopeful all will be able to play Sunday.
Steinbach, who signed a $49.5 million deal in the offseason, said he was day-to-day. He sprained his posterior cruciate ligament Aug. 7 and missed the preseason.
“I feel good and am going to go out and practice and prepare like I’m going to play,” he said. “You can’t really be too mental, as far as babying it. You have to have the mind-set of being 100 percent, doing all the things you normally would do.”
Roye had arthroscopic surgery to “clean up” cartilage Aug. 2.
“Today’s the first evaluation. We’ll take it from there,” he said. “It’s my old team, a big rivalry, the opening game of the season. There’s a lot at stake, and I’ll do my best to see what I can do to get on the field.”

Safety issue

The Browns only have three healthy safeties in Brodney Pool, Sean Jones and backup Mike Adams, but Crennel said that isn’t a problem.
“I talked to Gary Baxter about being a safety some, so there are four safeties on the team,” he said. “We’re not short at safety.”
Baxter, a cornerback, is trying a comeback from a pair of torn patellar tendons but isn’t expected to be ready for at least a couple of weeks. Justin Hamilton, in his second year, was expected to make the roster but had an ankle injury and was waived.

Back in brown

The Browns signed six of their cuts to the practice squad Sunday.
Running back Chris Barclay, offensive lineman Cliff Louis, defensive linemen Chase Pittman and Melila Purcell and receivers Steve Sanders and Syndric Steptoe didn’t even have to clean out their lockers. Pittman, Purcell and Steptoe were late-round draft picks in April.
A pair of undrafted rookies, tight end Jonny Harline and defensive back/punt returner Tim Mixon, were also signed. Harline was cut by the Colts and Mixon by the Bears.

Extra points

The Browns didn’t make any roster moves after the league-wide cuts Saturday. Crennel viewed that as a sign of progress after adding two guys off waivers last year.
 The Browns took their team photo before practice.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.