The Browns had a lengthy list of players not available for practice Wednesday, but only one is assuredly out for Sunday's game against the Chargers.
CB Greg Newsome II (calf) will miss his second consecutive game, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. Newsome hasn't practiced since he suffered the injury late in the action of the Browns' Week 3 win over the Bears.
Newsome was among the nine key contributors who did not practice Wednesday, the team's first of the week at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus as it prepares for its cross-country trip to face the 3-1 Chargers. The others included DE Jadeveon Clowney (elbow), CB Denzel Ward (neck), T Jedrick Wills Jr. (ankle) and DE Takkarist McKinley (ankle/knee).
"With all of those guys, we will see how the week goes," Stefanski said. "Just being smart about some of those things."
T Chris Hubbard (triceps), who hasn't played since Week 1 but returned to practice last week, will be monitored throughout the week, Stefanski said. His availability will not have an effect on the status of Wills, who has missed snaps in each of the past three games while playing through an ankle injury.
"We make these decisions with the information available to us," Stefanski said Monday. "It was unfortunate that he got his ankle caught there, but everything is on the table there."
Hubbard was the first option off the bench when Wills suffered his ankle injury Week 1 in Kansas City. In Weeks 2 and 3, Blake Hance filled the void when Wills came off the field. This past Sunday, fourth-round rookie James Hudson III played the final 21 snaps.
"He is getting better," Stefanski said of Hudson. "He is somebody who we get a good look at him at practice, and he gets a lot of good reps. Part of Jed being out at some of these practices has given him an opportunity to get some really good reps. I think he is progressing and working really hard."
LB Anthony Walker Jr. was back on the practice field Wednesday after the Browns designated him to return from injured reserve. The Browns have until Saturday to decide if they want to elevate Walker, who has missed the past three games, for Sunday's game in Los Angeles.
"With any of these guys coming off of an injury, we just have to see," Stefanski said. "We have seen them move around in their rehab but definitely want to see the practice football first."
Without Newsome in Minnesota, the Browns turned to Greedy Williams, who made his first start since 2019. The former second-round pick delivered in a big way, playing every single snap and collecting his first career interception.
Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Los Angeles Chargers
2 - 1 = 2?
Twice this season, the Browns have accepted a penalty on an extra point attempt and then switched gears by going for the two-point conversion from the 1-yard line. Both times were successful, as the Browns converted the plays and got two points for their efforts.
Stefanski said the decision to accept the penalty and go for two is not an automatic one. The team also has the option to tack the penalty onto the ensuing kickoff, and the Browns have gone that route on multiple occasions in the past.
"It is dependent on the play we have in mind a lot of times," Stefanski said. "If we do not love the play from the one, we will probably kick it, put it on the kickoff and make sure we kick it nice and high and cover. There will be times – and I think there have already been times – where we have applied it to the kickoff, and there will be times we will go for it because we likely feel good about our play."
The Browns will leave for Los Angeles on Saturday, a decision Stefanski said was partially impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"We do not want to spend too long not in our own homes," Stefanski said.
Stefanski said he talked with numerous coaches on his staff who have experience dealing with the three-hour time change from going East to West. This trip will mark the first of its kind for Stefanski, who spent his previous years in Minnesota, which is on Central Time.
"We kind of came up with a plan and make sure that we get out there and have a great night of meetings and make sure the guys are ready to go on Sunday," he said.