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5 Browns quick-hitters from Mike Pettine's Friday conference call

The clock is ticking, and none of the Browns player personnel members and coaches are leaving the building anytime soon.

The deadline to submit 53-man rosters is 4 p.m. Saturday. Pettine found some time Friday afternoon to share a little bit about his thought process and other Browns news updates before the final decisions are made.

1) Duke Johnson Jr. resumes throwing

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel continues to be on schedule in his recovery from a sore elbow, and that's recently included some throwing with a tennis ball and weighted ball. He's expected to resume throwing a football soon, if not today, Pettine said.

Pettine said the Browns haven't decided if they need to keep an additional quarterback because of Manziel's injury heading into the season opener against the New York Jets. Manziel has not thrown at practice since Aug. 23.

"Any time your backup is coming of an injury and you are not exactly sure when he is going to be 100 percent, there is reason for angst," Pettine said. "All of that, we really take into account the report from the trainers and we factor that into how we lay out the 53."

2) At least 3 players helped themselves vs. Chicago

Pettine identified wide receiver Josh Lenz, tight end Rob Housler and defensive lineman Jamie Meder as players who helped their chances of making the 53-man roster based on how they performed Thursday against the Bears.

Lenz caught four passes for 49 yards in the first half and filled in at safety during the second half. Housler caught a 19-yard pass and Meder was once again disruptive in the middle of Cleveland's defensive line.

"It was their job to go out and make the decision for us difficult," Pettine said. "I thought a good number of guys did that."

Pettine went into further detail on Lenz and Housler, both of whom are at positions where the numbers crunch could play a role in whether or not they make the cut.

On Lenz: "He's just come in and done everything that we asked him. He gets open. He catches the football. He's very productive. He's made the most of his opportunity and that was the challenge for those guys going out on the field last night from an individual standpoint – make the decision difficult. He's certainly done that, and he's definitely one of the names that's being discussed."

On Housler: "I think Rob's finished camp on a high note. I thought he struggled a little bit early on in camp and then put together some good solid weeks starting with the time up in Buffalo. I know we're heavy at that position, but Rob's has put himself in a position to potentially merit a spot on the 53."

3) It doesn't end Saturday

As the Browns showed last year, the deadline to submit 53-man rosters to the NFL office doesn't signal the end to the flurry of transactions.

Cleveland added four players last year after initially submitting its roster to the league office.

"It takes a few days for everything to get settled," Pettine said. "This is an exciting time."

Pettine said the majority of the Browns' roster is settled and the bulk of discussion centers on the final few spots. That's a change for the better from last year.

He said he was reluctant to see a bunch of after-the-fact transactions to the bottom of the roster because of the adjustment that comes with switching teams, but didn't completely rule them out.

"We feel good about where we are," Pettine said. "We knew some of these decisions would be tough. We feel that we are going to come out of this with a strong 53."

4) The Pryor question

Asked point blank if wide receiver Terrelle Pryor would make the 53-man roster, Pettine said it was "to be determined."

Pettine went on to reiterate what he's said before about Pryor, who made his Browns debut during Thursday's second half. Even if Pryor were completely healthy throughout training camp and the preseason, "it certainly would be a leap of faith" to add him to the 53-man roster because of his lack of experience at wide receiver, Pettine said.

The Browns liked what they saw Thursday from Pryor, who did not catch a pass but carried the ball twice for 9 yards out of the quarterback position and also lined up as a punt protector.

"We had a checklist of things that we wanted to see him do," Pettine said. "He does have a very unique skillset."

5) Light night for Coons hasn't diminished confidence

Travis Coons sent Thursday's opening kickoff deep into the end zone and called it a night. So it goes during a shutout like the one Cleveland experienced against the Bears.

Pettine was asked if he had any hesitation playing Coons, who has never kicked in a regular season game, in the Browns' 2015 season opener against the New York Jets.

"Travis, has, I thought, responded well to being in that pressure cooker of a kicking competition, and we feel good," Pettine said. "The only thing we're apprehensive about is 'Hey, it's a rookie kicker,' but there have been guys that have gone out and done a nice job. We're confident that he can do that, as well."

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