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News & Notes: Stefanski expects Sheldon Richardson to play vs. Jets

Veteran DT suffered a neck injury during the 2nd half of Cleveland’s win over Giants

Sheldon Richardson wasn't scheduled to practice Wednesday, but coach Kevin Stefanski expects the veteran defensive tackle to be available Sunday against the Jets.

Richardson suffered a neck injury during the second half of the Browns' win over the Giants. Though he exited the third quarter, didn't return and wasn't slated to practice Wednesday, Stefanski said he expects Richardson to practice later this week and was optimistic about his status Sunday.

Richardson has been invaluable in the middle of Cleveland's defensive line since he joined the team in 2019. In Sunday's first half, Richardson made a pivotal stop on fourth down. Two weeks earlier against the Titans, he did the same against Pro Bowl RB Derrick Henry and later forced Henry's first fumble of the season.

Richardson has not missed a game during his time with the Browns and has played at least 15 games in six of the previous seven seasons.

"He is a big-time player," DE Myles Garrett said Sunday. "That is why he is here. We see him do it time and time again, and I expect nothing less out of him."

More Injury News

G Wyatt Teller (ankle) and LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) were not scheduled to practice Wednesday. Stefanski said Monday that Teller was unlikely to play against the Jets, marking the second straight game he would miss because of the injury. Smith reported his injury after Sunday's game.

"Just came in after the game feeling sore so we are just going to be smart about that," Stefanski said.

S Andrew Sendejo returned to practice Wednesday after missing all of last week with a concussion.

Check out the best photos from the Browns win over the Giants last week by the Browns photo team

LBs Update

Stefanski said rookie LB Jacob Phillips gave the Browns "good reps" as a starter against the Giants.

Phillips, a third-round pick out of LSU, started the Browns' season opener against the Ravens. He suffered a knee injury in the game and re-injured the knee a few games later, preventing him from playing much at all during the first half of the season. His snaps have steadily increased in recent weeks, and he took over the starting role at WILL for Sunday's game, logging 22 of a possible 54 snaps.

Phillips is now listed as the top option at WILL on the team's unofficial depth chart, but Stefanski stressed the Browns are constantly rotating their linebackers.

"He is a young player so never perfect, but he is a physical player and ran to the ball," Stefanski said. "Obviously, he needs to clean some things up. We will just work this week and work everybody in there and then make a decision towards the end of the week, but I really like that group in total. We play a lot of guys in that position. That is important, keeping people fresh."

Double Dip

The Browns will play in their second consecutive game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday when they face the Jets. 

It's a schedule quirk, sure, but it's not too out of the ordinary. Just last year, Chief of Staff Callie Brownson experienced it as a member of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills opened the season with back-to-back wins, squeaking by the Jets, 17-16, before scoring a convincing 28-14 win over the Giants.

"I think it does help us to understand that stadium and how unique it is without having a crowd in there," Stefanski said. "We will be one week better in that regard and understanding the environment." 

Last week's game against the Giants was the Browns' first without fans in attendance since Week 1.

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