Myles Garrett will return to practice Wednesday as he gets closer and closer to making his NFL debut.
The No. 1 pick was a limited participant in Thursday's practice and Friday's walk-through but was inactive Sunday for a fourth straight week because of a high ankle sprain he suffered early last month. His response to the practices was positive, Browns coach Hue Jackson said, but the coach and trainers opted to err on the side of caution with a player who is viewed as a cornerstone piece of the franchise.
"We still weren't comfortable that he was 100 percent and where he needs to be," Jackson said Monday. "I think he had a good couple of days of practice, but it still wasn't to our liking as a group together. Again, like I said, he is an important part of our organization. We are going to stick him out there when he is ready to go, not when all of a sudden, he can have setbacks and we lose him again for four or five weeks."
Asked if the plan is for Garrett to make his debut Sunday, Jackson said, "I hope that is where it is going."
"I think we were close this past week. I think we are definitely going to be closer this week, but let's get through practice and make sure there is no hiccups that way," Jackson said. "If there isn't, hopefully we can get him out there this Sunday and ready to play. We need all of our guys out there, ready to go, participating. We have a big game this week."
-- The Browns are fearing the worst with linebacker Dominique Alexander, who went down in Sunday's first quarter with a knee injury.
Alexander, who is in his second year out of Oklahoma, is one of Cleveland's top special teams players.
Veteran linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. remains in concussion protocol. He's missed the past two games.
Wide receiver Sammie Coates, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, is expected to practice Wednesday.
-- Jackson reiterated Monday that his decision to remove quarterback DeShone Kizer from the game in Sunday's fourth quarter stemmed from his concern with how many hits the young quarterback was taking.
"I thought he had enough of those hits for that day. Come over here and stand next to me and watch because I don't want him to get hit out," Jackson said. "That was a good front we played that we held to two sacks – one on him and one on Kevin Hogan – but there were numerous hits as the ball was there and we were trying to get it out and doing certain things. We are always going to be protecting of our quarterback that way. There are going to be some games where he gets pushed and knocked around and all of that. We don't want those hits on our guy."
Asked if he's concerned about the cumulative number of hits Kizer has taken, Jackson said "we will make sure he makes it through" the 16-game season.
-- Jackson said Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton pulled a veteran move at the line of scrimmage to set up the Bengals first touchdown.
Jackson, who was Dalton's offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, said he knows Dalton's "mannerisms" and noticed, in his film review, he picked up on the adjustment at the line of scrimmage. The veteran quarterback saw the Browns were looking to bring pressure and checked into a protection that put All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green one-on-one with rookie safety Jabrill Peppers.
Jackson said it was a "bang-bang" decision that happened too quick for the Browns to counter-adjust.
"He has seen a lot of things down there," Jackson said. "I thought our disguise was pretty good. Let me put it to you like this, I don't think it was something DeShone would have seen right now in his career. I think it was a heads up play by Andy Dalton and he was able to make it happen."