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Need to Know: Browns DL Danny Shelton ‘week to week’ with knee injury

Posted Aug 17, 2017

Browns set to host Giants on Monday night

Defensive lineman Danny Shelton will be evaluated on a week by week basis because of a knee injury, but Browns coach Hue Jackson said he doesn't believe the injury is "anything over the top.”

The news comes a day after Jackson said Joel Bitonio (knee) and Cameron Erving (leg) will be similarly monitored throughout the preseason. Shelton won’t be available Monday when the Browns host the Giants for their second preseason game.

Shelton, the former 2015 first-round NFL Draft pick, recorded 59 tackles in a breakout season last year. He’s expected to play a key role on Cleveland’s defensive line this fall.

Here’s what else you need to know from Thursday:

-- The Browns put a stamp on training camp Thursday afternoon, ending a three-week, 17-practice journey in which Jackson says a new-look group grew in more ways than one.

“I think we’re physically better than where we were a year ago. I think we’re mentally tougher,” the second-year coach said. “I think it’s a better roster. We still have some questions to solve. Obviously, the quarterback situation and we will get that finalized as we go. We’re playing guys in some positions still to find out how they fit, where they fit, but for the most part I think we have a good idea of who we are.”

This year’s edition of camp showcased a retooled coaching staff — notably new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams — a roster that added three first-round NFL Draft picks in Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku this past spring, and an ongoing quarterback competition still taking shape.  

“I think when you have a new staff and you have some different players offensively, defensively and special teams, it is just how fast can they come together?” Jackson said.

“How fast can those guys find chemistry with each other, whether it be in the locker room, as a team, all of those different things and I think that happened pretty quickly and I give a lot of that credit to our staff. … I think they have all done a good job, but at the same time, this is just the start of it. There is going to be some huge games coming up in our future and we just have to keep getting this team better.”

— Garrett shined bright throughout training camp and earned the respect of his teammates with his work ethic and humility off the field. Jackson said Garrett, the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick, entered camp with the “right mindset.”

“He was going to earn the right to show his teammates and coaching staff, “he was who he was,” he said. “He’s done that every day. I think there’s still another level for him to get to. I think he is talented. I think he is still learning the National Football League game and just the grind of it all. It is going to be different for him. But I just think he has some good mentors on defense and coaches who are going to get him through it.”

— With Bitonio poised to potentially miss time, the Browns will look to versatile veteran John Greco to step up in his place. “He’s somebody I trust, somebody I know,” Jackson said. “He knows how to play. He did a lot of great things for us last year before he got injured at center and guard. So I mean he is a guy that is a plug-and-play guy. He knows to walk in and play.” Greco started 12 games last season.

— The remainder of the preseason, Jackson said, should go a long way in shaping pecking orders at wide receiver and kicker. “I think that’s going to unfold. Who’s going to catch the balls and get those balls?” he said. “I think those questions will be answered within the next three weeks. So I think we will be set by the time we hit the regular season.”

While veteran Kenny Britt and former first-round draft pick Corey Coleman are expected to play significant roles in the pass game, Cleveland is looking at several young players — including second-year players Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton — to step up. The kicker competition — which Jackson said was recently heating up — has seen Cody Parkey duel with rookie Zane Gonzalez, both of whom special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said “deserve to kick” in the NFL.

— Rookie running back Matthew Dayes, who has earned the praise of the coaching staff over the past month, ended camp on a high note. “He has flashed. He has flashed every day,” Jackson said. “He’s really competitive. He’s further along than even I thought he would be. He makes plays in the running game. He makes plays in the passing game. He is not afraid to pass protect. So he’s a young man who demonstrates three-down ability.” Dayes, the second-to-last pick in the draft, ran for 2,856 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns in four seasons at N.C. State.

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