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News & Notes: Priefer confident at kicker no matter who's playing Sunday

Cody Parkey remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list but could return soon

The Browns have two kickers in Berea for a reason, and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said he is confident in whoever is summoned for duty Sunday against the Eagles.

Cody Parkey was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday and remained there Thursday, preventing him from practicing or being inside the team's facility. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Thursday that Parkey could return as soon as Saturday, but the team is taking everything in 2020 one day at a time.

Matt McCrane, who has been on the Browns' practice squad for most of the season, has handled the kicking duties at practice and would do the same Sunday in the event Parkey is unavailable.

"The great thing is that our personnel people and myself, we have had a plan in place since July if something crazy like this happened," Priefer said. "As I told Coach Stefanski the other day, we are not going to bat an eye. We have a plan, and we have to go execute the plan. If we do not have Cody, we have to be ready to go. If Cody can come back Sunday morning, he will be ready to go. Either way, we are not pressing the panic button. 

"We will just go out and do our deal, and Matt will be fine. Matt will do a great job for us if he has to play on Sunday." 

McCrane hasn't kicked in a game since 2018, when he went 8-for-12 while playing for three different teams. He joined the Browns roster Week 2 after the team waived Austin Seibert and signed Parkey off of the practice squad.

Since his elevation to the active roster, Parkey has been nothing short of outstanding and has made a number of tough kicks in tricky weather conditions. On the season, he's 11-of-12 on field goals with six makes from 40 yards or more and 23-of-24 on extra points.

"Cody has done a really nice job," Priefer said.

Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Philadelphia Eagles

Wilson sidelined

LB Mack Wilson didn't practice Thursday and was listed with a hip injury.

C JC Tretter and LS Charley Hughlett returned after missing Wednesday's practice.

DE Myles Garrett (illness) missed his second straight practice but is expected to be back with the team Friday, Stefanski said. T Jack Conklin missed his second consecutive practice after going on the reserve/COVID-19 list but Stefanski said he hopes Conklin can return by Saturday.

"With all of this, you just have to follow the protocols," Stefanski said.

Browns wary of Sanders

The Browns have been relatively stout against the run this season and currently rank eighth in the league in rush defense.

Sunday, though, presents a bit of a unique challenge, as Philadelphia's Miles Sanders has thrived off the big play and has provided a consistent, game-breaking threat since returning from an early-season injury.

Sanders is averaging 6 yards per carry — the most of any NFL RB not named Nick Chubb — and has cleared 80 yards in five of his six games, all while carrying the ball 15 or fewer times a game. The Browns have allowed just three runs of 20 yards or more and have yet to allow a run of 40 yards or more.

"Growing up, you always had a couple of kids in the neighborhood that could just juke you and it was hard to get them down. I look at him, and he is a daylight runner," Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. "He sees daylight, he is running from the opposite color jersey and he is very slippery, very quick. You have to be very disciplined in your gaps because as soon as you think he is going to stick it inside, he bounces outside and challenges your leverage."

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