CLEVELAND, Ohio –Browns safety Grant Delpit and right guard Wyatt Teller will both be fine after leaving Saturday night’s 21-20 loss to the Bears in the preseason finale with injuries, coach Kevin Stefanski said Sunday.
Delpit left with a hip injury suffered in the first quarter, and Teller left with a knee injury suffered in the second. He was seen walking out of FirstEnergy Stadium with a wrap on his knee, but wasn’t noticeably limping.
Second-year defensive end Chris Odom wasn’t so lucky. He left the game on crutches and in a knee brace, and an MRI confirmed he suffered a season-ending torn ACL.
“(Odom) was doing a really nice job,” Stefanski said on a Zoom conference call with reporters. “Was a very, very good pass rusher. Had a knack for it. Did a nice job in practice. Had some good moments in these preseason games. Very, very disappointed for him.
“We talked about it last night — injuries are a very, very unfortunate part of this game that we play and coach, and we hate to see guys lose a year.”
The reigning USFL Defensive Player of the Year who had 12.5 sacks last season, Odom is the son of Cliff Odom, who was drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 1980 draft, but played only the first of his 13 NFL seasons in Cleveland .
The younger Odom was a high school teammate of Myles Garrett.
Other news from Sunday:
Cornerback AJ Green and safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. to be ready Week 1
Green (hip) and Harrison (hamstring) sat out the Bears game, but will be ready for Week 1, Stefanski said. Their injuries gave young players such as cornerback Shaun Jolly and safety D’Anthony Bell a chance to play and make a strong case for the 53-man roster when initial cuts are made by Tuesday.
Stefanski had praise for Bell, the undrafted rookie out of West Florida who forced his second fumble of the preseason vs. the Bears and has consistently made plays in practice.
“It’s great,” Stefanski said. “I don’t believe we’ve had an undrafted player make our roster the last couple of years, which means it is a very competitive roster. In this case, it is going to be no different this season. D’Anthony has done a nice job. He has flashed getting the ball out there last night, and he did that back at Jacksonville. It is a competitive battle to make one of these 53 spots.”
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He’ll continue to support Anthony Schwartz, who dropped three passes in the Bears game and six this preseason.
“You really work with each player on a case-by-case basis,” Stefanski said. “Anthony had a tough stretch – I think everybody understands that – but we support our players. We support our players when they are going through a tough stretch and it can be anything, and it is easy to do with a guy like Anthony who is very, very accountable and he works very, very hard.
“That is what I will continue to do. That is what we will continue to do.”
The Browns will evaluate injured players such as WR Michael Woods II and DE Chase Winovich on their pre-injury performance
Woods (hamstring) will likely be back in practice this week, judging from the fast sprints he ran before pregame warmups on Saturday night. Winovich (hamstring) should also be back soon, along with several other injured guys.
“You have to really go off of what you saw prior to losing him and then go off of your evaluation from when you acquired said player,” Stefanski said. “That’s what we’ll continue to do with all of these positions.”
RT Jack Conklin progressing well
Stefanski said Conklin is on track in his comeback from the torn patella surgery in December.
“What we’ve done with Jack is make sure that we are progressing at an appropriate pace,” Stefanski said. “We’ll work through the next four days of practice to see where he is and continue to give him more. He’s done a very, very good job with everything that we’ve given him. He kind of has hit all of those milestones. …Really focused on the next four days.”
On undrafted rookie receiver Mike Harley Jr. returning kicks
Harley has excelled over the past couple of weeks, and has a chance to make the team. The Browns will have to weigh his ability as a kick returner against the modest contribution he’ll likely make an offense.
“I think for all of the young players, it is definitely an example of the more you can do. If you can help cover punts, you can help as a returner or whatever it may be in the special teams, that always helps you as it becomes competitive to make this team.”
On rookie defensive end Isaiah Thomas playing with a cast
Stefanski praised Thomas’ ability to play with a cast on his fractured hand. Thomas, who had two sacks in the preseason opener against the Jaguars, will make the 53-man roster, and the Browns are excited about his pass-rush ability.
“It’s a challenge,” he said. “I don’t know how hard a challenge that is. It looks hard with having one hand, but he’s a very tough football player, very aware around the ball and uses his hand or hands well. A guy who we have been impressed with throughout the time we have had him.”
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