Thomas' back flareup an 'old man training camp issue'
Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas laughed off questions about the back flareup that has kept him out of the past three practices.
"Just typical old man training camp issues," Thomas said. "Back tightens up a little bit. It's the time of year that you just have to take a couple days and let it calm down and get back in the swing of things. You don't want it to be something that lingers too long."
Thomas wasn't sure if he'd be available for Thursday's preseason game against the Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. He was adamant the injury wouldn't put an end to his streak of 8,959 snaps that has spanned the entirety of his NFL career.
The Browns offensive line has dealt with a number of bumps and bruises throughout training camp, including injuries that briefly sidelined center Cameron Erving and right guard John Greco, but Thomas said there are positives that emerge when he's forced to the sidelines.
"I look at it as a benefit for the line," Thomas said. "The guy who is behind me is getting reps with the No. 1s and he's getting his opportunity against the top defense, especially in a preseason game. Me personally, I've seen it all and done it all. For me, I just need to knock the rust off and get in shape."
Hughes excited to be back
Browns defensive lineman John Hughes returned to the team Tuesday after spending more than a week away from it because of a personal matter.
Hughes said he was in constant communication with Browns coach Hue Jackson, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and his teammates throughout his absence. He received a warm welcome from them Tuesday in Berea.
"I'm just excited to be back here with my teammates," Hughes said, "I just appreciate them. They knew I was going through some things and I appreciate them being there for me."
Coleman going with the flow
Corey Coleman was understandably frustrated to be sidelined for Cleveland's preseason opener last week but the first-round rookie takes solace knowing he's following procedure that will have him in the best possible shape for the regular season.
Coleman, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past 10 days, returned to practice Monday. Browns coach Hue Jackson left open the possibility of Coleman being ready for Thursday's game, and Coleman said he'd follow whatever is recommended by the team's training staff.
"I just came here to do my job and be the best I can be. And it did, it was tough – it's always tough sitting out and watching," Coleman said. "But like I keep on saying, we have to do what's best for me and what's going to help the team."
Despite his injury, Coleman has stayed engaged with the goings on of the Browns offense, and that included Friday's game at Green Bay. When the first-team offense reviewed plays from the previous possession on the sidelines, Coleman was in the thick of it.
"It's important to get mental reps since I'm not actually out there," Coleman said. "I can still get with (Robert Griffin III), he tells me what's going on, what he's seeing out there, what someone did that they should have did better – just stuff like that."
Thomas on Twitter
Joe Thomas hasn't missed a single snap since he entered the NFL, but he's missed out on a lot of tweeting ever since the social media application came into popularity in 2008.
Earlier this month, Thomas stepped away from the sidelines and into the center of it all when he relaunched his account @joethomas73. As of Tuesday afternoon, Thomas had tweeted 29 times and was closing on 10,000 followers.
"As I get closer to the end of my career, it's probably a good thing to have a Twitter page as a conduit to the fans, especially as you are done playing. I thought it'd be a little fun," Thomas said. "When it first came out earlier in my career I think it was something guys have to be really cautious of but after being an observer for a long time I've got a handle of it enough to have some fun and not make any waves of it."
Veteran LB impressed with Ogbah, Nassib
Demario Davis watched from the sidelines as Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah piled up tackles and sacks Friday in Green Bay and came away impressed with the rookies he'll be sharing the field with in the near future.
"Those rookies had a tremendous game. Nassib played huge. Ogbah played great," Davis said before Tuesday's practice. "We're going to need those guys. We're going to have to rely on them this year. They have to grow up real fast. They played good in their first showing. It's going to get more intense. It's going to get harder down the road, but if they continue to stay focused and continue to work hard, those guys can be really good players in this league."
With Ogbah in particular, Davis views the rookie as in a more natural place at defensive line after spending OTAs and minicamp at outside linebacker.
"He plays with his hands really well. He's a big guy. He has a long arms, so I think that transition is a little easier for him verses the outside where he was dropping in coverage and that's something he probably hadn't done as much before," Davis said. "It's a little different than 4-3 end, but he's doing it really well. He needs to continue to play with his hands, continue to run well and have his eyes right and do what his coaches ask him to do, he's going to be OK."