The number of Browns players sidelined with nagging injuries grew Tuesday, and Browns coach Mike Pettine said it would alter how he plans snap counts for Thursday's preseason game against Buffalo.
Twenty of the Browns' 90 players did not practice Tuesday. All but three were sidelined with injuries, as linebackers Paul Kruger and Karlos Dansby and offensive lineman Joe Thomas had the day off for rest. Defensive back Justin Gilbert left midway through Tuesday's practice with a hip flexor injury.
"We will get the injury report tomorrow and sort it out by position groups just to see where we are," Pettine said. "We feel like we are close to getting some of our guys back, and also with the long break to Tampa, that is kind of a nice luxury to have. We will get some of our guys back. We feel we will be much better off headed into that [game], assuming we can get through Thursday night pretty clean.
"I think what we would like to do is time it up for Tampa that we can have as many of our ones and key backups out there and get some quality work then. We are looking to get some solid work done Thursday night."
Like the preseason opener, each Browns player will be on an individual snap plan for Thursday's game against the Bills. Pettine said the range for starters would be somewhere between 15-25 snaps. Josh McCown will start at quarterback and Johnny Manziel could work into the early part of the second half, depending on how many snaps the offense gets in the first half.
Where it could affect the Browns most Thursday is the secondary. After Gilbert's injury, the Browns had eight defensive backs, including Joe Haden (hamstring), Tashaun Gipson (calf) and K'Waun Williams (abdominal) and Pierre Desir (hamstring), on the sidelines at Tuesday's practice.
"We stress to our guys you have to eat right, sleep well and make sure we are hydrated," Pettine said. "It is a source of frustration. Sometimes, you have it where you want guys to push through, but you don't want to worsen it so you usually err on the side of caution."