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JC Tretter returns to practice; B.J. Goodson expected back soon

JC Tretter on Monday returned to practice, his first with the team since undergoing a knee procedure before the start of training camp.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he would clarify Tretter's status for Sunday's opener in Baltimore later in the week. For now, Tretter's presence was simply a great sight to see as the Browns ramp up their preparations for the Ravens.

"JC is a veteran," Stefanski said. "He has seen a lot of football. I think there is value in that. He is a leader of the football team. So, really good to have him out there today."

Tretter hasn't missed a start since he joined the Browns in 2017, a three-year stretch in which he and Joel Bitonio served as the core of a Cleveland offensive line that has undergone a number of changes at the other positions. Though he hasn't been on the practice field, Tretter has been active, engaged and a part of all of the team meetings, Bitonio said last week.

Rookie Nick Harris has taken every snap with the first-team offense during Tretter's absence. The fifth-round pick out of Washington has received rave reviews from teammates and coaches for how he's handled the unanticipated responsibilities.

If the Browns need Harris to start Sunday, they'll have two rookies on the offensive line making their respective NFL debuts. First-round pick Jedrick Wills Jr. is slated to start at left tackle.

Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Ravens Sunday

*LB B.J. Goodson has been absent from practice because of personal reasons, but Stefanski anticipates him to be back with the team soon.

Goodson, a fifth-year veteran who signed with the Browns in March, is one of the eldest members of Cleveland's linebacking corps and is poised to play a significant role in the middle of it.

"B.J. has been great for us in the meeting room and on the grass," Stefanski said. "He is just a very high-energy player. You hear him before you see him. I am really excited about what B.J. brings to our defense."

***Tavierre Thomas has been a special teams ace for the Browns since they acquired him shortly before the 2018 season. His third year with the team, though, could feature an increased role in the secondary, especially if the Browns are missing a handful of their key members Sunday.

CBs Kevin Johnson (liver), M.J. Stewart Jr. (hamstring) and Greedy Williams (shoulder) have been sidelined for multiple weeks with their respective injuries. That has meant more reps for a player like Thomas, who was on the field for just a handful of defensive plays last season.

Stefanski has been impressed with Thomas' tenacity.

"Tavierre comes up, comes to practice and just works," Stefanski said. "Love watching that guy out at practice, whether it is a defensive drill or special teams drill. He is all about ball. His teammates love him, and I think it just is from just how he attacks, every single day."

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