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News & Notes: Browns ready to dig deep on O-line if necessary

Cleveland could have its depth tested at multiple positions

The Browns are hoping to have T Jedrick Wills Jr. available for Sunday's game but will have Kendall Lamm ready if necessary.

Wills on Thursday was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said "there's a possibility" Wills, who has started every game this season at left tackle, will be cleared in time for Sunday's matchup with the Jets.

If he's not, the Browns will tap Lamm, a veteran with starting experience, to hold down the role of protecting Baker Mayfield’s blind side. It wouldn't be the first time Cleveland has had to dig into its depth on the offensive line, and Stefanski can't expect it to be the last — not in 2020.

"I do not think it is anything new to any team really," Stefanski said. "Look around the league, people are dealing with injuries and dealing with the COVID list. All 32 clubs to some degree are dealing with this."

Lamm has started 26 games since 2015, most of which coming at right tackle. He's been active for all of the Browns' games in 2020, often joining games for a snap or two at a time as a sixth blocker. He caught his first NFL touchdown in the Browns' Week 13 triumph over the Titans.

"He is a smart guy," offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said. "He is very conscious of what he is doing out there. He does a good job. He did a good job in the end through training camp and I fully expect him to come in and play at a high level. 

"We are fortunate to have the depth that we do have at the offensive line. Those guys have played well when they have stepped in and we expect nothing less." 

On top of the uncertainty at left tackle, the Browns likely will be breaking in a new starter at right guard with Wyatt Teller considered unlikely to return Sunday from an ankle injury that kept him out of last week's game. Fifth-round rookie Nick Harris is set to get the call after filling in Sunday for Chris Hubbard, who suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

Harris proved to be ready for the moment against the Giants, and the team's confidence is high he'll rise to the challenge again Sunday.

"I am very proud of our staff and how they work to get everybody ready because ultimately, you are trying to get the starter ready, but you better be developing the backup because as we all have seen over the course of this season and any season, you are going to have injuries and you are going to have circumstances where one guy can't go and the next man is up," Stefanski said. "The individual position coaches have done an outstanding job of developing each and every one of their guys."

Check out the best photos from the Browns win over the Giants last week by the Browns photo team

Harrison Update

S Ronnie Harrison Jr. rejoined the team at practice Wednesday but is considered unlikely to play Sunday.

Harrison, who was designated to return from injured reserve Wednesday, has missed all but one snap of the past four games after suffering a shoulder injury on the first play of the game Week 12 at Jacksonville. The Browns aren't required to elevate him to the active roster by Sunday's game.

"He looks good," defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. "Really, just giving him limited reps. It is something we are going to have to evaluate every day. I do not know if we will have him this week, but he should play in the near future."

Healing Up

DT Sheldon Richardson (neck) and LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) were set to return to practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday's session. 

Teller was the only player not expected to practice.

He's Got An Arm

Van Pelt said he had a fairly good idea how strong of an arm WR Jarvis Landry had before taking on the role as his offensive coordinator.

Van Pelt was on the opposing sidelines as a Bengals assistant coach when Landry uncorked a 63-yard pass to Breshad Perriman in a 2018 game at FirstEnergy Stadium. This season, Landry's number has been called four times to throw passes, and he's completed all four for 74 yards and a touchdown. It's the first time in NFL history a wide receiver has completed his first four pass attempts in a season.

"I knew he could throw the ball really well," Van Pelt said. "I did not probably pay enough attention to the type of route runner he was and the ability to separate versus tight coverage, make contestant catches and all of that."

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