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News & Notes: Browns working through injuries at offensive tackle

Cleveland is dealing with multiple injuries on both sides of the O-line

The Browns opened practice Wednesday, their first of the week as they began their preparations for Sunday's home opener against the Houston Texans, without three of their four offensive tackles.

Asked how the team would navigate the practice without them, Kevin Stefanski smiled and said, "good question."

"We've got some plans. We'll make it work," Stefanski said. "That's certainly something we're up on the white board with who's going to be where, but we'll be fine for practice."

As for Sunday's game at FirstEnergy Stadium, that will be determined as the week unfolds.

Starters Jedrick Wills Jr. (ankle) and Jack Conklin (knee) and super sub Chris Hubbard (triceps), who filled in for Wills on Sunday, were all sidelined for the first practice of the week. All three players are considered day to day and will have their progress monitored throughout the week, Stefanski said.

The Browns, of course, have been in this position before. 

As good as their starting offensive line played in 2020, the five-man unit only played eight full games together. That included the playoffs, when Pro Bowler Joel Bitonio missed the Wild Card game and Wills missed almost all of the Divisional Round game against the Chiefs after suffering an ankle sprain on the offense's first play.

When Wills went down in the playoffs, the Browns were forced to turn to Blake Hance, who is primarily an interior lineman. Hance, of course, is still on the team, but there are also new options in the form of rookie James Hudson III and Michael Dunn, who is working his way back from a back injury.

Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Houston Texans

Delpit Working Hard

Grant Delpit "has a chance" of making his long-awaited NFL debut Sunday against the Texans.

Delpit, the 2020 second-rounder out of LSU, missed all of his rookie season after tearing his Achilles tendon during training camp and was sidelined for large chunks of the preseason with a hamstring injury. He was limited at practice throughout last week and was among the team's inactives for the Week 1 season opener in Kansas City.

Stefanski said the team will monitor Delpit's progress throughout the week.

"He has worked very hard as you know," Stefanski said. "He is somebody that is trying like crazy in these individual drills, in the meeting room, in special teams, so he is working very hard."

Familiar Faces Everywhere

No team in the NFL has more former Browns than the Texans, who have eight former Cleveland players on their 53-man roster. The group includes six projected starters — QB Tyrod Taylor, TE Pharaoh Brown, DT Vincent Taylor, LB Christian Kirksey, CB Terrance Mitchell and S Eric Murray.

RB Nick Chubb was teammates with all of them at one point, 

"That is how the NFL goes," Chubb said. "It is part of the business. This is my first time actually seeing it happen like that. Guys I have played with being across from me on the other team. I am excited to see some of the guys for one, I am excited to play against them too, and we have a great challenge ahead of us."

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