Jordan Cameron walked out of the locker room Friday uncertain but hopeful about his chances of playing Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Cleveland Browns tight end, who has missed the past five games with a concussion, was a limited participant in each of the Browns' three practices this week. After his most recent one Friday, Cameron stressed he's "feeling better every day" but didn't want to say anything definitive about his status until one last test with a neurologist.
"I just want to play," Cameron said. "Whatever that means, I'm just frustrated not being with my teammates and not being able to help the team. It's a critical point of the season. It's December, we're in the playoff hunt and I want to be out and help them."
After last week's practices, Cameron appeared primed for playing time against the Bills but he never made the trip after a minor setback. The goal, he said, is simply to feel normal for consecutive days.
Browns coach Mike Pettine was asked if he was more optimistic Friday about Cameron's status than he was the previous week.
"I think that's accurate," Pettine said. "He had a good week, but then again he had a good week last week. We'll see."
If Cameron returns, it would come at an ideal time for the Browns, who will be without Gary Barnidge (ribs) against the Colts. If Cameron misses his sixth consecutive game, the Browns will roll with Jim Dray and Ryan Taylor.
There's reason to be encouraged about the Browns offense improving if Cameron's able to play. In the two full games last season in which Cameron started at tight end, Josh Gordon started at wide receiver and Brian Hoyer started at quarterback, the Browns won both while Cameron and Gordon combined for 30 receptions, 374 yards and five touchdowns.
"I hope I can help," Cameron said. "We've got to help him. We've got to be in there. It's one of 11. That's what coach always says. We're a part of this offense and hopefully I can get back in there and help them out."
Injury breakdown for Sunday's game
OUT -- S Tashaun Gipson (knee), TE Gary Barnidge (ribs), CB Robert Nelson (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE -- RB Isaiah Crowell (hip), TE Jordan Cameron (concussion), DE Jabaal Sheard (foot), LB Karlos Dansby (knee)
PROBABLE -- LB Paul Kruger (illness), C Nick McDonald (ankle/knee), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), WR Marlon Moore (hamstring)
OUT -- CB Vontae Davis (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE -- S Mike Adams (back), RS Josh Cribbs (knee)
PROBABLE -- TE Dwayne Allen (ankle), C Jonnothan Harrison (illness), WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring)
Pettine lauds Browns' resiliency
One of the streaks Cleveland takes most pride in this season is its avoidance of consecutive losses.
Pettine said Friday it wasn't an accident.
"Just the resilience," he said. "The ability to compartmentalize I think is important. I know we use the word a lot, but it's important that you truly go week to week, that you never celebrate a win for too long and you never dwell on a loss for too long and let it turn into a second one. I think our guys understand that every week brings a new challenge, and we put Sunday behind us on Monday; then, we're onto the next one."
Pettine broke that rule for a brief moment earlier this week, but there was a reason behind it. The Browns are in a playoff chase in the month of December, and he wanted the team to embrace it.
So, he hung a calendar.
"I just still wanted to kind of pop our heads up for a minute and just take a peek at, 'Hey, here's where we are, and this is all we have left,'" Pettine said. "Hopefully, that amped up their sense of urgency a little bit."
Odds and ends
• Pettine said he's yet to make a decision at center, where Nick McDonald and Ryan Seymour have competed throughout the week. McDonald went down with an injury midway through last week's loss at Buffalo and Seymour played well in his absence. If Seymour starts, he'll be the fourth different Brown to do so this season.
• "He was doing a good job," Pettine said of Seymour's performance against the Bills. "That's something where you don't want to bounce back and forth so even though we made the move, we just wanted it to be a one-time thing as long as he was doing OK. Then they continued to split the reps this week."
• A decision on Dansby's status "will truly be a decision that we have to make on Sunday," Pettine said. The veteran inside linebacker has missed the past two games with a knee injury.
• Veteran Donte Whitner raved about cornerback Buster Skrine's competitive fire. Skrine has started all 12 games and is second on the team with four interceptions.
• "He's one of the most competitive players in the National Football League," Whitner said. "Coming into a season when you take a guy at cornerback No. 8 overall (Justin Gilbert), you expect him to be in the starting lineup. I think that really touched him a little bit and fueled his hunger, competing with Justin every day and understanding that you can't have an off day or you might not be in the starting lineup."
• Pettine cracked a smile when he was asked about the possibility of Cribbs lining up behind center for a few Wildcat plays, something he did on occasion with the Browns.
• "Any play that (Colts QB) Andrew Luck's not playing quarterback is fine with me," Pettine said.