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Browns-Giants joint practice: Observations from the defense - Day 2

The Browns finished joint practices against the Giants on Friday and look ahead to their preseason game at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday

The Browns greeted the New York Giants on Friday for Day 2 of joint practices at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus before they meet for the final time Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium for their second preseason game. 

The energy was certainly a few ticks higher than Day 1, when the Browns ended the practice with an offensive touchdown followed by a defensive interception in 2-minute drills. 

Here's how Day 2 of practice went for the defense in Berea.

Check out photos from the second day of joint practices with the Giants at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus

— CB Greg Newsome II ended practice on Day 1 after he intercepted QB Daniel Jones in 2-minute drills. He nearly grabbed another interception during a 7-on-7 goal-line period on Day 2, which would've made it three consecutive interceptions for the Browns secondary during the period. He was one of the top players during joint practices and appears to have the speed and instincts needed to thrive as a rookie. We'll have another chance to see him Sunday in full action.

— The first interception in that sequence, though, came from S Richard LeCounte III. The pass was a bit errant, but LeCounte was in perfect position to make the grab and spring to the other end zone in celebration. He also made a stop on a rushing play in 11-on-11 team drills and erupted the Browns sideline as a result. LeCounte recorded an interception in the first preseason game and should be in line for heavy playing time Sunday.

— Newsome's near-pick came next in the sequence, but then S Ronnie Harrison Jr. tipped a pass into the air and caught it to secure two interceptions on three consecutive plays. Harrison has been eased back into practice since recovering from a hamstring injury suffered in the first week of training camp, but he performed well in team drills on Day 2 and appears to be in good health.

— DEs Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney were in pads for Day 2 after originally taking a day of rest on Day 1. Neither defensive end participated in anything beyond individual drills, which was the plan the Browns outlined for both players ahead of joint practices. 

— DE Porter Gustin, who had taken first team reps in place of Garrett and Clowney on Day 1, exited early in practice and was replaced by Joe Jackson on the first team. Cameron Malveaux was the other first team replacement, and he had a solid day. He ended practice with a fourth-down sack on Jones in 2-minute drills and also figures to be on the field a lot come Sunday.

— CB Emmanuel Rugamba forced a fumble during one of the 11-on-11 periods. DT Sheldon Day was all over the field and in the Giants backfield. That earned some praise from head coach Kevin Stefanski after practice.

"He's done a nice job," he said. "He gets in there and does a nice job in pass rush. We'll see how he looks in this game and the next game, but he's gotten a real opportunity."

— Stefanski said LB Jacob Phillips, a 2020 third-round pick who had played well in training camp, will have surgery to repair a torn bicep. Phillips exited practice on Day 1 after extending his arm in a one-on-one and immediately pulling himself out of the play. Stefanski didn't offer any timeline on Phillips' recovery.

"It was very unfortunate," Stefanski said. "I feel for Jacob. He'll bounce back and he'll attack that rehab. I think we'll see (if he comes back this season)."

— CBs Denzel Ward, A.J. Green, S Sheldrick Redwine, LBs Tony Fields II and Sione Takitaki and DE Takk McKinley did not practice Friday. CB Greedy Williams also left practice early. Stefanski did not have an update on Williams.