BEREA — Two emerging playmakers returned to practice Friday after missing almost a week with injuries.
Second-year tight end Jordan Cameron and rookie receiver Travis Benjamin participated fully in the 80-minute practice. Cameron and Benjamin were injured Aug. 10 in the preseason opener at Detroit after solid starts to training camp.
Cameron made a leaping 42-yard catch, landed on his back and suffered a bone bruise.
“The guy landed on me and the turf’s pretty hard there, kinda like a jarring thing back there,” he said. “Today I felt good. I didn’t really feel it at all. I’m about 100 percent.”
Benjamin was less specific.
“I was kinda nicked up,” he said. “I had a few minor problems, but it’s OK now.”
Benjamin, a fourth-round speedster, is just 5-foot-10, 175 pounds. He’s in the mix to be the third or fourth wideout.
“I haven’t missed nothing,” he said. “I was here the whole time. I watched film, watched practice, made sure I stayed on top of everything so I could be still in the game. I’m full-go.”
Benjamin expects to play Friday against the Eagles in the first home game of the year.
“I’m looking forward, ready to go in the Dawg Pound and have a great game,” he said.
Cameron was making a strong push to be the No. 2 tight end behind Benjamin Watson and will rejoin a battle with Evan Moore and Alex Smith. The best catch of his young career was also the end of his night in Detroit.
“I was just bugged. It was just annoying,” he said. “I wanted obviously to get out there and try to make some more plays, and kinda showcase what I’ve been doing during camp. But it happens. It’s part of the game, bounce back and I’ll be good.”
Defensive end Frostee Rucker returned to individual drills after missing more than two weeks. He wore a large brace on his right knee.
The news wasn’t all good, as backup tackle Oniel Cousins, rookie linebacker Emmanuel Acho and receiver Rod Windsor didn’t practice and weren’t on the field. Shurmur didn’t disclose their injuries, just saying Cousins and Acho were sore. Cousins was penalized for holding and grabbing a facemask while blocking on place-kicks Thursday night in a 35-10 win over Green Bay.
Running back Trent Richardson (knee), linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (shoulder), linebacker Scott Fujita (leg), nickelback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), Watson (undisclosed), defensive tackle Scott Paxson (knee), safety Usama Young (hamstring) and receiver Carlton Mitchell (leg) remained sidelined. Defensive end Juqua Parker joined those on the stationary bikes.
l Rookie cornerback Trevin Wade practiced after being driven to the locker room in a cart Thursday night. Shurmur said he was sore but is fine.
Take a deep breath
Quarterback Brandon Weeden said he’s OK after taking a shot to the midsection from Packers cornerback Brandian Ross. Weeden completed the pass, but paid a price.
“I feel good. I’m surprised,” he said. “I really felt fine after a play or two. I just lost my breath.
“I tried to call the next play in the huddle and I couldn’t even spit out a word. I tried to imitate it, but I made a fool of myself. It was bad. The offensive line was laughing at me. I called the wrong direction.”
Weeden was a little taken aback by the criticism from some media and fans after his uneven performance in the opener. He went 3-for-9 against Detroit but rebounded to go 12-for-20 Thursday night.
“You can’t really grade an outcome of a game over nine passes, much less 15 plays, and especially it was my first-ever NFL start,” said Weeden, 28. “You’ve got to keep that in mind. Regardless of how old I am, it’s still a big jump from college football.
“I don’t listen to it fortunately. I’ve been there, I’ve played the baseball thing, I didn’t listen to it then, I didn’t listen to it in college and I’m going to continue to not listen to it. But I think they want a winner and so do I.”
If he doesn’t listen, how did he hear the criticism?
“I read my Twitter,” he said. “But trust me, it goes fast. I’ll skim through it.
“Sometimes I’ll respond and put LOL. It’s comical some of the stuff that I hear, it really is.”
Shurmur will treat the third preseason game against Philadelphia on Friday differently because the regular-season opener is also against the Eagles. But he won’t rest the starters.
“I think it will be more of a lack of scheme thing more than anything,” he said. “In terms of the guys out there playing, our guys need work.
“It’s the third preseason game so I’ll withhold the details of that.”
Work to do
The Browns will break training camp Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean Shurmur’s shifted his focus to the regular season.
“I don’t feel like we’re over the hump,” he said. “I feel like we’ve got three work weeks left. I think there’s a lot we need to get done. We’ve got to get a lot better in my opinion to be where we need to be.”
The Browns also have decisions to make regarding the roster.
“There are some spots still there to be won or lost in my opinion,” he said. “I think there are some tight little battles in there that we’ve got to get sorted out in the next three weeks.”
The Browns-Packers game on Channel 3 had a 21 rating, the second-highest Browns preseason game since 1999.
• The Browns are off today and return to practice Sunday from 2-4:30 p.m. It’s open to the public. The hotline is (877) 627-6967.
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