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News & Notes: No Mayfield, but plenty of other important position battles to solve vs. Lions

Baker Mayfield will not play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions, but we will see plenty of players who still need to prove their worth in order to make the final 53-man roster.

Among those players: running back Dontrell Hilliard, wide receiver Braxton Miller and tight end Seth DeValve.

Miller has flashed in his limited opportunities since signing with the Browns near the end of camp.

"I think he is picking up the offense," Kitchens said. "So that tells you a little bit about his learning ability, and then we will see if we can put him in some positions to make some plays Thursday night. He is doing well, though."

Miller's speed made him a special athlete in college at Ohio State, but he's struggled to have a similar impact at the NFL level. He's hard to miss on the practice field in Berea, though, and his value as a potential returner could improve his chances to make the team. His running ability could help him in the return department, as well as in the receiving corps.

"He seems like it. He almost pulled through one the other night on a shallow that we wanted we wanted to get the ball in his hands a couple of times," Kitchens said when asked about Miller's running ability. "He seems like it. I am looking forward to seeing him play Thursday. I am looking forward to seeing a bunch of these guys play on Thursday. The funny thing about competition is you are either exposed or you get exposure and competition brings that to the forefront. When you start talking about a preseason game, that is the ultimate competition. That is what you have to go off of, how a guy is going to take it from the practice field to the game, and I am looking forward to seeing how these guys respond."

Also in line to produce a positive response that could go a long way toward securing a roster spot is DeValve. Senior Writer Andrew Gribble took a closer look at DeValve's efforts to make the 53, which you can read by clicking here.

-Terrance Mitchell responded incredibly well to the challenge placed in front of him by the coaching staff, which inserted rookie Greedy Williams into the starting lineup early in camp. The veteran has had an excellent camp, taking control of the starting job opposite Denzel Ward. But make no mistake: Williams has not leveled off in his development.

"I hope not. We are not planning on him (Williams) plateauing anytime soon," Kitchens said when asked if Williams had plateaued. "Hopefully he has his head down and he is trying to get better. Sometimes guys in the media and people like that not to be funny, you only judge what you see as far as playing the ball, and I think that Greedy is getting better."

-Receiver Damion Ratley is expected to play in his first game of this preseason Thursday, Kitchens said. Ratley missed the first half of camp with a hamstring injury and sat out of Friday's loss to Tampa Bay.

-Receiver Dorian Baker sat out of Tuesday's jerseys-and-shorts session due to an illness, Kitchens said.

-Naturally, Kitchens is not looking forward to cut-down day but knows it is a necessary evil of professional sports.

"It is very difficult," he said. "It is one of the hardest things you do as a coach. I know as a position coach it was the hardest thing I had to do because these guys are invested in making the team. They are vested in you as a person if you get them the way you want them to be because you are asking them to do tough things and hard things and they are buying into it. It is definitely hard; it is very hard. It is one of the hardest parts about our business."

For those wondering, Kitchens confirmed all players released over the weekend will hear the news from Kitchens and Browns general manager John Dorsey.