With two days left to prepare for their preseason finale, Hue Jackson has made it clear the Browns' starters will indeed play Thursday night against Chicago. He's just not sure how long quite yet.
"I think I'm going to think about it tonight but they're going to play, obviously. Haven't thought through exactly how much but they're definitely going to play," Jackson said Tuesday, adding "Anybody that's a starter on our team, we're going to let them play and we'll get them out of there soon enough but they need to play."
After all, the Browns are in the process of still evaluating their club as they both prepare for the regular season opener at Philadelphia and trim the roster down to 53 players by Saturday.
Here are four more things to know from Tuesday's practice.
Josh Gordon maximizing opportunities
Since being reinstated on a conditional basis by the NFL last month, wide receiver Josh Gordon has seemingly done everything in his power to maximize his return to the Browns locker room. For Gordon, that also means preparing himself for the regular season and a four-game suspension.
"It's really a great opportunity. Specifically just for having the access to the facility, being around the people, still being able to go to meetings and interact with your teammates, still pick up on the knowledge and installations for the gameplan definitely helps as opposed to being out," he said.
"You are kind of just in the wind with it. Staying in shape, that's a major key. I'm definitely grateful for that, definitely."
Gordon, who made his return to the field Friday in more than a year, caught two passes for 87 yards and a touchdown at Tampa Bay.
"He's been off to a pretty good start, if you score a touchdown in a game and catch some long ones, that's pretty good," Jackson said, smiling.
"But no, he needs to stay in it. Obviously, he won't be able to stay out there with the team at practice but he'll be able to be in the building which I think is a big plus and we really thank the league for allowing him to do that.
"I think he'll be able to kind of follow along where we are and stay in it from the standpoint, and I think that's really all he can do and just make sure he's on top of things and understanding how we game-plan, what our process is as far as getting ready for a game. He'll get a chance to see that firsthand."
On competition and numbers at WR
With 10 receivers still battling for spots on the 53-man roster, Jackson said it's a reality that the Browns won't be able to keep all of them when Saturday rolls around.
"We haven't really got into that yet. I'm sure myself and Sashi (Brown) and Paul (DePodesta) and Andrew (Berry) will have that conversation here pretty soon," he said.
"There's some very talented young men in that room and obviously all of them can't stay so someone's going to get some really good players. But at the same time, I know we'll make sure the guys we keep are the guys we need to keep here to help our football team."
The Browns drafted four receivers -- first-rounder Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton -- this past spring in an effort to strengthen the position group. The Browns also feature the likes of veterans like Gordon, Andrew Hawkins, Terrelle Pryor, Marlon Moore, Taylor Gabriel, and Darius Jennings.
'Better our situation here for the future'
Jackson outlined the Browns' decision on Monday to deal punter Andy Lee to the Panthers in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick and Carolina first-year punter Kasey Redfern. He also made it clear such a transaction wasn't the result of Friday night's punt return for a touchdown, in which Jackson was displeased about Lee's effort in tackling Buccaneers returner Adam Humphries.
"Obviously, we saw an opportunity to better our situation here for the future, I totally support our team as far as making those decisions. Again, it's probably unheard of to get a fourth-round pick in that situation for a good player and he'll go back to Carolina and he'll help that football team," he said.
"There's also some punters out there that we liked that we are going to put on our team to also give us a chance to still be successful in that area."
Griffin ready for final tuneup
On Tuesday, Jackson announced the Browns starters will play in their preseason finale. That, of course, includes Robert Griffin III, who said he's looking forward to another chance to play before the regular season starts.
"Every time you get an opportunity to go out there and play the game, it is an opportunity to improve," he said. "Coach decided he wants to play the starters. We're ready to go."
Griffin said he's also ready to help a Browns offense trying to master what Jackson described as sustainable, "progression football."
"We just have to be more consistent. The only way to try to score is to try to score. That is what we are trying to do every time we go out there and play," he said."We have guys that can make big plays, but those same guys can make the underneath plays that will keep drives going. It starts with me. I have to be more consistent to allow us to do those things."