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7 injured Browns players on the mend

During the first team meeting Monday, Browns coach Mike Pettine made each one of his players stand up and list the most interesting place they visited this offseason.

And for several members of Cleveland's roster, the answer was the same: the training room.

During Tuesday's press conference, Pettine listed seven injured Browns players who are all on the mend: defensive lineman Armonty Bryant (knee), offensive lineman Michael Bowie (shoulder), linebacker Darius Eubanks (shoulder), defensive lineman Ishmaa'ily Kitchen (leg), center Alex Mack (leg), linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) and defensive lineman Phil Taylor (knee).

"It was all very encouraging," Pettine said after Tuesday's workout. "Everything went well. It'll be at varying times.

"Some guys will be limited through the spring. Some guys will be full go. Some guys will be full go the start of training camp. It's good to have everybody back. This is always a very positive day. It's a day that's been circled on our calendars, coaches, for a long time."

The absence of two players now returning from injuries, in particular, played a part in the Browns' downtrodden December.

When Mack suffered his broken leg Oct. 12 against the Steelers, Cleveland's offense slowly began to trend downward. The trickle-down impact without Mack created issues in the run and pass game.

"He's the best center in the NFL," left tackle Joe Thomas said in a recent interview. "There was going to be no such thing as replacing Alex Mack."

On the other side of the ball, Pettine announced earlier in the offseason that the Browns were moving Taylor from defensive end to nose guard, a position that suits the 335-pound Baylor alum to a tee.

Taylor's teammate, linebacker Paul Kruger, predicted glowing things for the defensive lineman when he returns to full health.

"The guy is an absolute wrecking ball when he's out there playing full speed," Kruger said. "Phil's a special guy. He's got potential to be a Pro Bowl type of player. So he's somebody I'm looking forward to seeing come back and being a big part of the defense."

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