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Browns WRs healing up for Sunday's game vs. 49ers

Just a few days ago, Mike Pettine didn't expect to feel how he did Friday when asked to assess the state of Cleveland's wide receiving corps.

The Browns finished last week's game against the Bengals with two healthy receivers. One of them, Brian Hartline, was playing through a thigh bruise and the other was rookie Darius Jennings in the midst of his first NFL game.

A week of practice and rehabilitation has done wonders for Cleveland's receivers.

Hartline is considered questionable with a hip injury. Leading receiver Travis Benjamin, who exited the Bengals game during the first quarter, has personally vowed he's ready to play and is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Taylor Gabriel, who has missed the past two games with a concussion, is also questionable after returning to practice Thursday. Marlon Moore, who is dealing with injured ribs, is questionable.

"We feel good," Browns coach Mike Pettine said after Friday's practice. "I'd say we feel a lot better about it today than we did early in the week."

The Browns also could have Terrelle Pryor at their disposal for certain passing situations. Since he returned to the team last week, the former quarterback has been lauded for his physical shape and retention of the offense.

Pryor was inactive last week against the Bengals. It's unclear what kind of role he'll have against the 49ers, but he's made clear progress on the practice field.

"He is trained primarily this week as the split end, the X receiver, but we can move him around some," Pettine said. "There is some flexibility in the system. Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) does a nice job of putting guys where they need to be to run the routes. He is not fully versed on the entire route tree, so we are not going to put him in that position where he has to run everything."

The Browns ruled out three players, all of whom are all dealing with concussions. Defensive back Joe Haden will miss his eighth game of the season, wide receiver Andrew Hawkins will miss his third in a row and defensive back Justin Gilbert will miss his second in a row.

Rookie Charles Gaines will make his second consecutive start in place of Haden, Pettine said.

"The one thing about Gaines is that he is confident," Pettine said. "He has that corner mentality that he can hit the reset button. He is a young guy that we think has a future here, and we are getting to see him play."

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