Tyrod Taylor returned to practice Thursday, but it's unclear if the Browns backup quarterback will suit up for this weekend's game in Oakland.
Taylor exited the league's concussion protocol but is dealing with a back injury he sustained in last week's win over the Jets and was limited during the session, coach Hue Jackson said.
"We'll see exactly where that is. He didn't do a lot, so I'll make sure that, if we do put him out there, that he's ready to go," he said. "We'll see where that is. I'll know more about that tomorrow."
Taylor, who suffered a concussion in the first half of Thursday night's win over the Jets, lost his starting job to rookie Baker Mayfield earlier this week. If Taylor can't go, Jackson said veteran Drew Stanton will back up Mayfield.
That decision, he said, will be made Friday before the team travels to the Bay Area.
"I'm sure that I will make it before we go, because I want to know," he said. "I think what's important for our team is for our team to know about exactly where we are at backup quarterback."
— Speaking of Mayfield, the youngster hasn't been much different this week as he prepares for his first career start against the Raiders. "Baker has been the same since the day that he's walked in, other than that he walks into the huddle with the first-team offense," Jackson said.
"I don't see any difference in that way. I think that he's excited to play, excited to walk out there first. As far as his work ethic, I see him being a little bit more vocal with his teammates. Outside of that, I think that he has been the same Baker that he has been – which is good."
Mayfield completed 74 percent of his passes for 201 yards coming off the bench for Taylor last week. That kind of performance — coupled with Mayfield's fiery personality and leadership qualities — has Cleveland's offense brimming with confidence.
"Any time that you come in a game as a young player and do what he did last week, it builds confidence. There is a confidence from his teammates with him. When you go in and have not had a lot of reps and you can go in and command the offense the way that he did, and you can help lead the team to victory, I think that says that, 'Hey, this guy can help,'" Jackson said.
"I think players, to a man, all that they want is guys that can help them win, when it is all said and done. And, a guy that is going to lead him. I think that he demonstrated those things last week."
— The Browns signed Stanton this past spring to be something of a mentor to whichever quarterback they drafted. Jackson said the bond between him and Mayfield "has been like big brother, little brother."
"Baker had to be open to that. I think he was. I think Drew, on the other side of it, had to be willing to do it, too. He has taken Baker under his wing and said, 'Hey, I am going to try to impart to you all that I have seen, all that I know – from a preparation standpoint, from a National Football League standpoint.' It takes two people that have a relationship," Jackson said. "I think everybody's been very open and embraced Baker in that room, including Tyrod.
"It's also been the other way, I think that Baker has embraced his role when it first started that, 'Hey, I am going to try to be a sponge and learn everything from you guys. Whatever you guys tell me, I will take the good that I feel helps me and the other part, I will move on from.' I think that is how you build relationships."
— Larry Ogunjobi has been a force on the Browns' interior defensive line so far this season. The second-year defensive tackle has 18 tackles and three sacks in three games. Jackson said Ogunjobi — a third-round pick who played in 14 games as a rookie — worked as hard as anyone during the offseason. The former UNC-Charlotte standout also forged a bond with Bengals star tackle Geno Atkins, leaning on the veteran for advice, tips and tools of the trade.
"He grinds. It's important to him. He works at it. He always wanted to be the best. Sometimes, Larry can overthink a little bit. But, he works his tail off and he has a burning desire to be really good," Jackson said. "I am sure that you guys know that he has a relationship with Geno Atkins. That's what motivates him. He wants to be one of the best at his position. I think that you combine that with his talent, and a guy that is willing to work like that, then good things happen."
— As the Raiders head coach in 2011, Jackson knows the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum well and expects their fans to make Sunday a long afternoon.
"We have the greatest fans in the world, but I would tell you that is the second-best group. They're unbelievable," he said.
"They're going to be there early before the game. They're going to not want us to come in the stadium. They're going to try to make sure we do not come in the stadium. They're going to mess with us when we're inside the stadium, and they'll mess with us when we leave the stadium. That's just what it is, but again that's an unbelievable venue."
— After a shaky first half, the Browns run game sprung to life against the Jets. Leading the charge was Carlos Hyde, who finished with 98 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley thinks the unit is coming together a month into the season.
"I think we're going to have a chance to be a good running team," he said. 'I think our guys up front are starting to all come together now after a few weeks of being together and getting on the same page. So I am excited. I was really excited about Carlos. I take my hat off to him."
Hyde, whose girlfriend gave birth to their first child shortly after the game, channeled that energy into what was his best game since signing with the team in free agency. "The more you give it to him I think the stronger he gets," Haley said, "and he's 230 pounds and wears those guys down so they stop wanting to tackle him a whole bunch."