Browns opt to wait to activate TE David Njoku - News & Notes

The Browns will wait at least another week before activating TE David Njoku to the 53-man roster.

Njoku was designated to return from injured reserve Wednesday and practiced with the team throughout the week. He was optimistic about being able to return as soon as Sunday, but coach Freddie Kitchens maintained the team would make a move when it felt Njoku was fully back up to speed after missing eight games because of a wrist injury.

"I think we want to see David another week and see what we get at the end of next week," Kitchens said after Friday's practice.

As of Wednesday, the Browns had 21 days to activate Njoku to the 53-man roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

Without Njoku, the Browns have operated with four different tight ends -- Demetrius Harris, Pharaoh Brown, Ricky Seals-Jones and Stephen Carlson. The group, counting Njoku, has accounted for six of the team's 11 receiving touchdowns. The latest was made by Carlson, who began the season on the practice squad but has impressed since his recent promotion to the 53-man roster.

"We have a lot of confidence in Stephen that he can do the job, that he can go in and do the job," Kitchens said. "He showed us that early, that he is very detailed and precise in his preparation in that when he actually gets to the field, you are going to get exactly what you tell him to do, you are going to get, and that is always a good thing."

Check out photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Dolphins Sunday by team photographer Matt Starkey

-- Kitchens reaffirmed his "total confidence" in the group of defensive linemen who will be called upon Sunday in the wake of three starters being sidelined.

The Browns bolstered their depth along the defensive line after Friday's practice with the promotions of DT Brandin Bryant and DE Porter Gustin, but the bigger responsibility falls on players such as Chad Thomas, Chris Smith and Devaroe Lawrence in the wake of Olivier Vernon’s injury and the suspensions of Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi.

All of the players who will be filling bigger roles have position versatility, Kitchens said, which should allow Cleveland to play the best four available players.

"I think those guys have worked all week and are playing together and doing their job, which enables the defense to play at a high level. If we get that Sunday, it will be to our benefit," Kitchens said. "We have total confidence in those guys are going to step in and play well. We do not need them to just be out there. We need them to play well, and I have full confidence that they will do that."

-- Rookie LB Mack Wilson compared Joe Schobert to a former teammate of his at Alabama that helped get him similarly up to speed as he adjusted to his new circumstances.

"Shaun Dion Hamilton, he plays linebacker for the Redskins right now. He knew the defense in and out, and he was able to help me play fast when I was young," Wilson said. "That is how I feel it is with Joe right now. With me being a rookie and him being a four-year vet, it helps me out a lot because he knows the system in and out and I am just trying to learn it day by day. I am getting more comfortable with it, and I feel like both of us are interchangeable and we can play each other's position."

Wilson said the game is definitely slowing down for him since he was thrust into the starting lineup Week 3, when veteran Christian Kirksey was placed on injured reserve with a season-ending injury.

"I see things quicker than I used to when I first started starting in the National Football League because this game is very fast," Wilson said. "I had to just adjust to the speed, and I feel like I have been doing a great job with that. My eyes have been better. It is starting to come easier. I am starting to expect things before the play even happens."