April 20, 2014

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Browns notes: Lewis no longer sure he’ll play Sunday

BEREA — Running back Jamal Lewis doesn’t sound certain anymore.
Lewis, who strained his foot Oct. 7, said last week that he would play Sunday vs. the Rams, but on Friday he declared his status a gametime decision.
“It just depends on how I feel Sunday morning,” he said before practice.
The Browns practiced inside — the Rams play in a dome — and Lewis took some snaps with the first-team offense in the portion of practice open to the media. He was limited in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and was listed as questionable (50-50) on the injury report.
“I did just a little bit,” Lewis said of practice Wednesday and Thursday. “I was trying to test it out. But I don’t know.
“It’s up to the coaches or whatever, see how I feel. That’s all I can really say.”
Lewis has 382 yards and a 5.0 average. He was injured on the first play vs. New England and didn’t play Oct. 14 vs. Miami.
If he can’t go, Jason Wright would get the start and Jerome Harrison would be the backup.

Peek performance

Outside linebacker Antwan Peek said the week off helped his foot strain, which he suffered in the opener Sept. 9.
“My legs feel a lot better,” he said. “I’m ready to go.”
Peek looked great in his first preseason with the Browns, but was significantly slowed after the injury. He has just 1½ sacks and 12 tackles.
“Anytime you’re an edge rusher and you’re slowed down a little bit, that’s going to hurt your performance,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “The key is being healthy and being able to use your speed off the edge.”
Peek was signed as a free agent to work into a rotation with Kamerion Wimbley and Willie McGinest.

Wimbley stymied

Wimbley leads the team with three sacks, but he’s been held without one in four of six games.
Wimbley has been double-teamed consistently, and Grantham said the onus falls on another pass rusher to take advantage of the attention paid to Wimbley.
“You can chip with a back or tight end, which basically can take the guy out of the game,” Grantham said. “What happens is you have to win some one-on-one matchups somewhere else.”

Tall tales

Browns quarterback Derek Anderson and Rams running back Steven Jackson were freshman roommates at Oregon State and text-message each other every week.
“Derek is a great guy. One of the reasons I decided to go to Oregon State was because of Derek,” Jackson said on a conference call. “We were also great friends because we were two of the biggest guys on campus. We kinda looked like giants on campus.”
Jackson (6-foot-2) sent Anderson (6-6) a text message after he was named the starter in Week 2.
“Make it hell on ’em to make a decision on when to bring the rookie up in there,” Jackson said, referring to Brady Quinn.

Tough times

Grantham was asked how he’s dealing with coaching the 32nd-ranked defense.
“Obviously, you always take responsibility for what you’re doing and you want to be held accountable,” he said. “As you look at our players, they play hard and they do want to improve. There have been times when we play well but we just have to be consistent.
“As far as me and Romeo (Crennel), everything has been fine. We’re all on the same page.”
Crennel is a former defensive coordinator, but said he’ll leave the game-planning to Grantham.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.