Terrance Mitchell feels for Greedy Williams because he's felt the pain before.
Just two years ago, Mitchell had a promising season short-circuited by a broken arm, keeping him off the field for eight games.The veteran cornerback understands the frustration Williams, who has yet to play this season, is feeling after being placed on the injured reserve list Monday.
"Greedy is a soldier," Mitchell said Wednesday. "It is just a part of football. He will be all right. He will be back."
Williams has been sidelined since he suffered a shoulder injury midway through training camp. The second-year player appeared to be on the path to returning but is dealing with a nerve injury, Kevin Stefanski said, and that ultimately led to the decision to shut him down for a bit.
Mitchell, though, has helped soften the blow — just like he did last year when the Browns dealt with injuries in the secondary. Through five games, Mitchell has 22 tackles and four passes defensed. Both he and Denzel Ward have helped limit the damage to opposing wide receivers, especially near the boundaries.
"I have a responsibility to the team, and I have to do my job at a high level," Mitchell said. "Just have to keep working so I can help the team win."
Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Browns were without two safeties, Ronnie Harrison Jr. (concussion) and Karl Joseph (hamstring), and a handful of others for Wednesday's practice.
WR Jarvis Landry (ribs/hip), LB Jacob Phillips (knee) and G Wyatt Teller (calf) also did not participate. Stefanski said Landry would be back in some capacity as the week progressed while Teller has been described as "week to week" with a calf strain.
In the event Harrison and Joseph are unable to play Sunday, the Browns will be forced to dig deep into their depth at safety. That's nothing new for the group, which has dealt with injuries since the beginning of camp. When Harrison went down in the second half of Cleveland's win over Indianapolis, Sheldrick Redwine stepped up and promptly nabbed his first career interception.
"I think we will just kind of take it day by day as it relates to that," Stefanski said. "We talked about it earlier in the week. Ronnie went in and performed. Sheldrick went in and performed. That is what you have to do as a backup. I know it is cliché, but we have kind of lived it. It is next man up, and we do not expect there to be a drop off when the depth comes in."
Stefanski and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin are 14 years removed from their season together in Minnesota, but the two have remained good friends.
In 2006, Tomlin was the Vikings' defensive coordinator and Stefanski was in his first NFL season as the team's assistant to the head coach. One year later, Tomlin was named head coach of the Steelers. A number of other current Browns and Steelers assistants were also a part of that staff, including Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods, pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea and Steelers defensive line coach Karl Dunbar.
"A little bit of a Vikings reunion there for us," Stefanski said. "Impressed with what he has been able to do there over the course of however many years it has been. He has done a great job."