1. A big, encouraging day for Karl Joseph
The Browns were without much of their secondary Tuesday after Monday's rash of injuries, which included the likely season-ending Achilles tear suffered by rookie safety Grant Delpit. Though the group was short on numbers, it put together one of its better practices with staunch play in one-on-one drills and team periods.
Veteran Karl Joseph was at the center of it, and that's exactly what you like to see from a safety Cleveland will be surely counting on in 2020.
Joseph, who has practiced every other day while going through the final stages of his recovery from foot surgery, intercepted two passes during the practice, including a nice scoop near the dirt after a ball deflected off Jarvis Landry's hands. He's been with the first-team defense whenever he's practiced, and his role comes into even more focus now that the Browns are likely to be without Delpit for the rest of 2020.
Joseph was a solid player with the Raiders over his four seasons with the team but dealt with a handful of injuries along the way. The former West Virginia star's best season was in 2017, when he had a career-best 79 tackles and started all 15 games in which he appeared. According to ESPN Stats, Joseph was the only safety in the NFL to have at least 75 tackles, an interception, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
"Karl was a high draft pick, and I think the thing for him right now, he has a chip on his shoulder. When you are a first-round draft pick, you expect to be on that team for probably two contracts," defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. "With him, it is really kind of the work ethic, the veteran leadership because he has seen a lot in terms of football. So the relationship he has with the other guys has been really good and he is a very determined young man, and he is going to give us everything he has. So that is what I really feel like he is bringing to the table right now."
Check out photos from the ninth day of Browns Camp
2. A tip of the hat to Harrison Bryant
Fourth-round rookie Harrison Bryant has attacked the first 10 practices of his NFL career, and it hasn't gone unnoticed by Coach Kevin Stefanski.
"He is a very locked in young man," Stefanski said. "He is on top of his assignments. He plays with great effort. Very pleased with where he is. Has a ton of work to do. Everything that he is doing is happening for the first time for him. But pleased with his progression."
With David Njoku sidelined because of a wrist injury, Bryant has worked with the first-team offense whenever it deploys a two-tight end look. And while he hasn't been on the receiving end of quite as many passes as when he was full-time with the second-team offense, Bryant still has made his presence felt. His touchdown catch on a fade throw from Baker Mayfield during a goal-line period was one of the top highlights from Monday's practice.
"Much like anybody else, the receivers in this system, if you are where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there, there is a good chance you are going to get the ball thrown to you," offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said. "That is what he has done. He has just been consistent every time of being where he is supposed to be at the proper time, and he is making the plays. The balls are coming to him based on the reads, nothing more than that. When he does have the opportunity, he is making the plays."
3. Here and There
- The following players did not practice: LB Adrian Clayborn (groin), LB Tae Davis (illness), Delpit (Achilles), WR KhaDarel Hodge (personal), CB Kevin Johnson (liver), CB Terrance Mitchell (knee), Njoku (wrist), WR Damion Ratley (groin). CB M.J. Stewart Jr. (hamstring), C JC Tretter (knee), CB Greedy Williams (shoulder) and LB Mack Wilson (knee). DE Chad Thomas left practice with a neck injury.
- WR Jarvis Landry went inside for the second half of practice, but Stefanski said it wasn't any cause for concern. "Jarvis is getting his work in, when he goes off he is still getting work with our group inside," Stefanski said.
- Stefanski said Williams' injury was still being evaluated and couldn't speculate on a timetable for his return.
- DT Larry Ogunjobi practiced for the first time in a week. The fourth-year DT had been dealing with a groin injury.
- The Browns are off Wednesday and will return to the practice fields Thursday.