There was no keeping Jarvis Landry off the field for the Browns' Thursday Night Football showdown with the Broncos, and Landry said he'll be carrying that same mindset into Sunday's game against the Steelers.
Landry, who missed four games with a knee injury before returning for Week 7, suffered a new injury to the same knee late in the action of Cleveland's win over the Broncos. He limped to the sidelines after making a key catch for a first down and later returned for the final few snaps.
Landry missed Wednesday's practice but was back on the field Thursday as a limited participant. He admitted he was nervous about the new injury when it happened but quickly realized it wouldn't be anywhere near as severe as the previous one, which put him on injured reserve for the first time in his eight-year career.
"After the game and these past couple of days, I'm feeling a lot better," Landry said.
That's good news for the Browns offense, which got a noticeable lift — both from a tangible and spiritual sense — with the return of Landry, who had five catches for 37 yards in Cleveland's win over the Broncos. It certainly wasn't the most impressive stat line of Landry's career, but his impact was unquestioned. The Browns targeted him on the very first play, a 7-yard gain that gave the team an instant jolt of energy that carried through the rest of the night.
"That's something I wanted to intentionally bring," Landry said. "I think I touched the ball four times on the first couple of drives. That was something that was important for me and where I was physically and the energy level of the team and the stadium."
The energy will be similarly high Sunday when the Steelers are in town. It's another big opportunity for Landry, who has had some of his best games as a Brown against the team's biggest rival.
"We still have everything right here in front of us," Landry said. "Big division game this week that is important for us.
"This division has kind of been carried by the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the first time in a long time I can remember, it's pretty even. For us, division games are always important, but it makes it that much more important."
Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers
Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt liked what he saw from Baker Mayfield at Wednesday's practice and was excited to see how he responded Thursday.
Mayfield, who is dealing with an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder, was the only Browns player in shoulder pads Thursday as the team got back on the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus practice fields. He was considered a limited participant both Wednesday and Thursday.
"We'll determine later in the week how he's feeling," Van Pelt said. "Obviously it's up to the doctors and medical staff to determine whether he's ready to go or not."
Van Pelt said Case Keenum, who started and led the Browns to their Week 7 victory over the Broncos, is getting more reps in practice than usual but has already shown he can prepare himself without getting much of any on-field work before a game.
"All backups are ready to go with no reps, and that's kind of the job of the backup," Van Pelt said. "He'll be ready to go regardless of the reps he takes."
Letting it Fly
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said P Jamie Gillan has shown significant improvement over the past two games after hitting a tough patch earlier in the season.
Gillan has averaged better than 52 yards on his five punts over the past two games. In the first five games of the season, Gillan averaged 41.8.
"He worries too much sometimes and sometimes if you overthink stuff, like any young kicker or punter, you have issues," Priefer said. "I basically told him to go out there and focus on a good drop and kick up and through the ball and do your thing. He's done a much better job the last two weeks."