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Browns healthy entering OTAs, will ease injured players back into action

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — The Browns will be near full strength when they open organized team activities (OTAs) this week.

Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson expects the majority of the team’s 90-man roster to participate in this week’s practices as the team begins its final phase of offseason workouts.

“We’re very close to having full participation but there's a couple of guys we’re going to monitor and ease them back into it,” Jackson said Monday morning at the team’s annual Cleveland Browns Foundation golf tournament.

Among those players include key defensive players linebacker Jamie Collins and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who both spent the offseason coming back from season-ending injuries.

Collins, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Lions in November, won’t “be out there right away,” Jackson said. Collins had 31 tackles, a sack and an interception in six games last.

Jackson expects Ogbah, who suffered a season-ending foot injury against the Jaguars the following week, should be able to participate in some form. “There's going to be other things that he can do,” he said.

The Browns, who open OTAs Tuesday, are coming off the franchise’s first winless season and a 1-31 mark over the past two years. There’s optimism, however, that’ll become a distant memory following a head-spinning influx of talent via free agency and last month’s NFL Draft.

Under new general manager John Dorsey, Cleveland bolstered one of the league’s youngest rosters with trades for veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry and free safety Damarious Randall. The Browns also drafted nine players, including first-overall pick and quarterback of the future Baker Mayfield and former Ohio State star cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth-overall selection.

Ward, who missed part of rookie minicamp earlier this month with a hip flexor injury, is expected to practice this week, Jackson said. The same goes for rookie receiver and fourth-round pick Antonio Callaway, who suffered a toe injury during the same session. “They’ll be fine,” Jackson said.

The Browns will hold OTA practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week; May 29-31; June 4-7 and then a mandatory minicamp June 12-14.

Over the next month, Jackson said the Browns will be smart when it comes to reintroducing injured players to practice.

“Anybody that had an issue toward the end of the season,” he said, “we’ll still make sure that we ease them back into so they can be there the whole time.”​

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