BEREA – Browns coach Pat Shurmur announced that veteran linebacker Scott Fujita will go on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder/neck injury.
Fujita has missed the last two games and consulted specialists. He’s contemplated retirement to avoid permanent injury, but Shurmur didn’t know if Fujita will retire.
“I spoke with him this morning, and I don’t know that,” Shurmur said.
Fujita’s had a difficult and frustrating year.
He was suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for his alleged connection to the Saints’ bounty scandal and recently had the penalty reduced from three games to one. Fujita’s appeal has yet to be heard.
Fujita injured a knee in training camp, then didn’t play Week 1. He started three games and totaled 14 tackles and a sack.
He’s been replaced in the lineup by rookie fourth-round pick James-Michael Johnson, who has three tackles in two games.
Shurmur didn’t announce a corresponding roster move to fill Fujita’s spot.
** Shurmur said defensive tackle Phil Taylor will return to practice today. He opened the year on the physically unable to perform list after tearing a pectoral muscle May 10 lifting weights.
Shurmur said odds are “very low” Taylor will play Sunday against the Chargers as he works his way back. He could return Nov. 4 against the Ravens or after the bye week Nov. 18.
** Shurmur said running back Trent Richardson (rib cartilage) participated in the walkthrough and is expected to practice. He was benched in the second quarter Sunday in the loss to the Colts after rushing for 8 yards on eight carries.
Shurmur said he didn’t think it would’ve been wiser to rest Richardson against the Colts.
“Nope. We wanted him to compete, and he competed in there for about a half,” Shurmur said. “He didn’t reinjure himself.”
With the bye in two weeks, should the Browns shut down Richardson and let him get healthy?
“What’s important is if he’s healthy to play, he plays,” Shurmur said. “And if they tell me that he’s at no risk to hurt it further, we’re playing ball.
“As I watch him in practice, just like we watched him in the game, if we feel like that’s something we can and should do, then we’ll do it. Otherwise we’re getting him ready to play.”
** Left guard Jason Pinkston tweeted he was released from the Cleveland Clinic. He was admitted Thursday with a blood clot in his lung and will miss the rest of the season.
** Shurmur announced rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden will be the game captain this week.