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Browns Mailbag: Do Browns have any other candidates to come off IR?

Posted Nov 10, 2017

Senior Writer Andrew Gribble answers your questions every week

The temperatures are dropping, but the same can’t be said for the number of questions in this week’s mailbag.

We’re taking four of them before we head to the Motor City.

What is the status of Corey Coleman? Shouldn't he be close to coming off IR? -- Bernie R., Toledo

Coleman, who has missed the past six games, returned to practice this week and was able to participate in a number of individual drills. Per league rules, he’s permitted to return to game action next week against the Jaguars if he’s fully ready to go. Coleman said earlier this week his hand was 100 percent recovered. The Browns don’t have to make a roster move with Coleman until the day before the game, if they so choose.

The key for Coleman will be to recapture the good chemistry he had with DeShone Kizer. It was especially apparent Week 1, when the two connected on a late touchdown, the last of Coleman’s five catches for 53 yards. Last year, Coleman caught 26 passes for 240 yards when he returned for the final eight games following a similar hand injury.

Assuming we choose to take Corey Coleman off IR, who are the best candidates to be the second man taken off of IR this year? -- Ethan A., Houston

You’re right in that the Browns are allowed to designate one more player to return this season, but the odds aren’t strong they will. Let’s run down the list, which stands at eight and includes Coleman as of today.

OL Chris Barker, LB Tank Carder and RB Darius Jackson aren’t eligible to be designated to return because they were placed on IR before rosters were dropped to 53. OL Joe Thomas and DB Reggie Porter were placed on IR in the last couple of weeks. Even if they were fully recovered before the season wrapped up, there wouldn’t be enough time elapsed to get them back on the field. LB Dominique Alexander suffered a serious knee injury Week 4 against the Bengals and isn’t expected to be ready at any point during the season. That leaves rookie OL Rod Johnson, who, at this point, would be permitted to return, but there’s been no indication that is in the works.

If rookie DB Howard Wilson were to return this season, it would not count toward Cleveland’s two moves from the IR because he’s on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Does Kizer have the confidence to be the Browns starting QB for years to come? - Jake S., Valley City

Confidence doesn’t appear to be an issue for Kizer. He’s been through a lot over the past few years and kept his head held high. Jackson doesn’t believe the multiple benchings have been an issue for Kizer, and Kizer has said the same. Confidence won’t be the determining factor in becoming Cleveland’s quarterback for “years to come.” Simply put, it will be how he plays.

On Friday, Jackson reaffirmed his belief Kizer is the guy, even amid his rookie year struggles.

“I will still go on record saying I think this guy is going to be a really good player in time, but there is work to be done,” Jackson said. “We all want the instant success, but it is going to take a little bit of team because I think it is not just him. I think the whole offensive team has to do their part, too, but does he have to play better? Yes, he does. I think he recognizes that so there is no question about that.”

When players go from the practice squad, what is the pay difference? We hear about this every week. What does it mean for the players? - Glenn B., Hesperia, California

This could be a long, complicated answer, but the easiest way to say it is … it depends. Practice squad contracts can be different for each player and can vary widely in salary. The league minimum is $7,200 per week but many can make much more. Some players who are released from a 53-man roster and then sign back with the same team’s practice squad maintain their same, weekly pay. If a player is signed off a team’s practice squad, he must me on his new team’s active roster for at least three weeks, which means three game checks. Earlier this week, the Browns did just that when they signed safety Derron Smith off the Bengals’ practice squad.

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