BEREA – The Browns waived nine players this morning, reducing their roster to 80. They must be down to 75 by 4 p.m. Monday.
Receiver Carlton Mitchell was the biggest name on the cut list. He was a sixth-round pick in 2010 but his production never matched his physical skills (6-foot-3, 215 pounds). He was beset with injuries and had three catches in 16 games in two years.
Mitchell suffered a leg injury early in training camp this year and missed significant time.
The others who were waived: receivers Bert Reed, Jermaine Saffold and Owen Spencer, offensive linemen Jake Anderson and Matt Cleveland, defensive back Emanuel Davis, linebacker JoJo Dickson and punter Spencer Lanning.
Other notes from Shurmur’s news conference:
Defensive end Marcus Benard dislocated his left elbow Friday night in the loss to the Eagles. Shurmur didn’t give a timetable for his return.
** Shurmur said he’s “very optimistic” running back Trent Richardson will be available for the regular-season opener Sept. 9.
He continues to make “great progress” and will be on the field “soon.” Richardson had arthroscopic knee surgery Aug. 9 and has not been on the practice field since.
** Shurmur won’t reveal his plans for the Nos. 2 and 3 quarterbacks until the final cut to 53 Friday night. Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace and Thaddeus Lewis are competing for the two spots behind starter Brandon Weeden.
McCoy has had a solid preseason, going 18-for-24 for 234 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.
“He’s done an outstanding job here in training camp,” Shurmur said. “I’m very pleased with where he’s at. I’ve gained an even greater appreciation for him.”
** Shurmur wasn’t disheartened by the poor performance of the offensive line Friday night. The Eagles had five sacks and five other quarterback hits.
“I’m very confident the offensive line will be one of the strengths of our team,” he said.
** Shurmur was noncommittal on how much the starters will play Thursday night in the preseason finale vs. the Bears.
“There’s a chance that they could play,” he said. “But when I send the ones out there, there’s a very good chance you won’t see some guys.”
Shurmur is trying to balance preparation with preservation.
“It’s important for young guys to play and play as much as they can,” he said. “But I also believe I’ve got to try to do my very best to make sure our best players make it to Week 1.
“That’s that constant struggle you have. Maximize the amount of work but also try to have them ready to go.”
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