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Need to Know: Browns trying to get Josh Gordon healthy, ready for season opener 

The Browns are taking things slow with Josh Gordon as the wide receiver nurses a hamstring injury.

Gordon, who was moved to the active roster Saturday morning following a nearly month-long leave of absence, suffered a minor hamstring injury in a strength and conditioning workout earlier this week. 

Browns coach Hue Jackson described it as a "little minor setback" as the team tries to Gordon ready for the season opener in two weeks. 

"He just tweaked it a little bit. It's not a major pull," he said. "We'll get him back here soon."

Jackson said the plan is to have Gordon — who announced July 23 he wouldn't be in attendance for the start of training camp as he recovers from a public battle with addiction — ready to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 9. Cleared to play and practice by the NFL, Gordon will participate in walkthroughs until his hamstring heals. 

"He will back out there sooner rather than later," Jackson said, "that's for sure."

— As expected, starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor practiced after suffering a dislocated pinky finger and bruised left hand in Thursday's win over the Eagles. Taylor landed awkwardly on his hand out of bounds while scrambling left in the first quarter. He missed a series to undergo X-rays in the team's locker room and promptly rejoined his teammates on the field. Jackson said that toughness speaks volumes about Taylor, who was traded to Cleveland in March following three seasons with Bills. 

"I think that's awesome. I think that's the way your quarterback has got to go about it," Jackson said. "He's a tremendous competitor, a good leader as you said, an awesome leader. I think he wants to help this organization win. That's what you want from your quarterback."

— Starting right guard Kevin Zeitler returned to practice Saturday after missing most of camp with a calf injury. Jackson said he expects Zeitler to play in the opener and hasn't yet decided if the veteran will play in next week's preseason finale in Detroit. "I just want to see where he is. I would like to get him in a game before we play, but let's see where he is," he said. "Let's go in and see how the injury and all that stuff held up after practice today." Zeitler started all 16 games for Cleveland last season. 

— Rookie cornerback Denzel Ward practiced following a fit of back spasms that sidelined him for the remainder of Thursday's game. "That's what we expected him to do," Jackson said. Ward, the fourth overall pick in the draft, earned a starting role earlier this spring. 

— Jackson intimated that rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield will play against the Lions, though he's not sure how long. "I have seen quite a bit of him," he said. "I like what I have seen. He has done a good job." Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, has looked the part through three preseason games. 

— Myles Garrett wreaked havoc on the Eagles' offensive line Thursday night, recording two sacks, two quarterback hurries and three tackles. That's what the Browns expect from the second-year defensive end and former No. 1 pick, Jackson said. "The speed, the tenacity, and the relentlessness of him rushing," Jackson said, "you could feel it."

— After a slow start, rookie running back Nick Chubb has demonstrated promise in back-to-back preseason games. He carried the ball 14 times for 46 yards Thursday and scored his first NFL touchdown the week before against the Bills. "The first game, everyone is trying to get a feel for what is going on," he said. "After that, just kind of learning from it, growing from it and just approaching practice differently and kind of getting things rolling." The 35th overall pick in the draft, Chubb is expected to play a key role in the Browns' backfield with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson. 

— The Browns might have one of the league's deepest linebacker groups with returning starters Christian Kirksey, Jamie Collins and Joe Schobert plus newcomers in former Eagles standout Mychal Kendricks and rookie Genard Avery. But Kirksey, a team captain in 2017, said there's not enough buzz about James Burgess, who had 75 tackles, four sacks and three pass breakups in nine starts last year. "I think people forget what he did when Jamie Collins got hurt," Kirksey said. "We've got a lot of good linebackers that deserve praise."

— One of the few holdovers in the Browns' overhauled secondary, Briean Boddy-Calhoun continues to show why Cleveland held onto the former undrafted free agent. The team's backup free safety and nickel back, Boddy-Calhoun picked off Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in Thursday's preseason win and helped spark a dominant defensive showing that night against the defending Super Bowl champions. Boddy-Calhoun, who made 14 starts at corner over the past two seasons, said he's gotten comfortable in his new position. "This is my second year in the defense so I feel like I'm comfortable as far as making calls and stuff like that," he said.

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