Corey Coleman could miss some time, but the Browns are confident the second-year wide receiver and 2016 first-round NFL Draft pick is poised for a big season.
Head coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday that Coleman — who fell awkwardly last week in practice — will be held back in an effort to err on the side of caution with him and others with various bumps and bruises.
"That was a tough spill for him, a little tougher than I thought," Jackson said. "He's making his way through. You know Corey, he wants to be back out there right now. I just think that now is a time that if a guy is kind of banged up a little bit to make sure that we take care of him so that we can get him back for our training camp. We will see how it all unfolds at the end."
After challenging Coleman to step up following his rookie season, Jackson said he understands how the optics of such an injury are less than ideal.
"Nobody wants to lose a good player at practice or at any time, but I know those things happen. Again, if I wanted to push him through it, I could," he said.
"What's most important is that we get him back. He has demonstrated the ability that we are looking for. Obviously, he has got to do it in the game. There are no games right now. The most important thing for the whole football team is health. It is making sure that we can get everybody back when it really starts to count ready to play."
When that time comes next fall, the hope is that Coleman — who caught 33 passes for 413 yards and three touchdowns in 2016 — plays a significant role on a new-look offense. After parting ways in free agency with leading receiver Terrelle Pryor, the Browns are counting on Coleman and newcomer Kenny Britt to lead a young wide receivers room.
"Those guys have got to continue to step up, and they have. We have a lot of young players at that position that (senior offensive assistant) Al Saunders has done a great job of mentoring and developing," he said.
"We have to see if they can play. That whole group has got to take another jump because we are young at that position. We all know that and respect that and understand it. We have to see if those guys can make the jump, and that is what we are getting the chance to see right now."
Coleman, the former Baylor star and Biletnikoff Award winner, shined early last season against the Ravens, catching five passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns. But he broke his hand in practice the next week and was unable to duplicate that level of production.
Jackson said Coleman has worked hard this offseason to emerge as an impact player.
"He's done a good job. He has improved. I stand behind my statement that I made earlier that he has got to be the guy to do it for us," he said.
"That is what we drafted him for, and I am sure he will do that."