BEREA – Browns middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson returned to practice today after suffering a concussion Sunday vs. the Giants. He should be on schedule to start Sunday against the Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Jackson left Sunday in the second quarter and didn’t return. The loss really hurt the run defense, which allowed 135 yards to Ahmad Bradshaw after Jackson was hurt. Bradshaw finished with 200.
While Jackson returned, strongside linebacker Scott Fujita wasn’t on the field for the 15 minutes of practice open to the media. A team spokesman said he was in the team facility. Fujita was limited Wednesday with a shoulder injury, but said he would play Sunday.
Rookie fourth-round pick James-Michael Johnson would likely start for Fujita.
The Browns remained short-handed at receiver, as Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), Travis Benjamin (hamstring) and Jordan Norwood (foot) didn’t practice. Greg Little, Josh Gordon and Joshua Cribbs are the only healthy receivers.
Rookie Josh Cooper and Rod Windsor could be promoted from the practice squad before Sunday, but offensive coordinator Brad Childress said it’s possible to go into the game with only three healthy wideouts.
Perhaps the biggest loss for the Browns would be defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (calf). He left the game late Sunday and didn’t practice Wednesday or today.
If he can’t play, rookie John Hughes would start at tackle next to rookie Billy Winn.
The Browns could get a boost soon from defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who’s on the physically unable to perform list after tearing a pectoral in May. He’s eligible to return to practice next week.
“He looks great,” Shurmur said. “We’re hopeful he’ll be back soon. Let’s just say this: I think he’ll be right on schedule.”
Once Taylor returns to practice, the Browns will have a three-week window in which to activate him or declare him out for the season.