Wyatt Teller wishes he'd already returned from his calf injury. The bulldozing Browns right guard just takes solace in the belief his patience will pay off in a big way down the stretch.
Teller returned to practice Monday and was listed as a limited participant Wednesday. He's hoping the extra week of rest afforded by the team's bye will benefit him not only this Sunday if he's able to play, but also throughout the second half of the season.
The last thing Teller wants to do is re-aggravate the injury and go through another three-game stretch where he's not able to help his teammates on the field.
"It has been a process the past four weeks," Teller said. "I wanted to make it back, but I do not want the same injury to be nagging all year. You definitely want to take advantage of the bye week, take advantage of the couple weeks that I had off and come back with a vengeance to get this game back on track."
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski has said he'll wait until Friday to make a determination on the status of Teller and Pro Bowl RB Nick Chubb. Getting back one of the players promises to be a boost for a Browns running game that has stalled out a bit after its hot start. The return of both would be even more significant, especially as the Browns hit a patch of their schedule with opponents that have struggled to stop the run.
"I pray that I can get back and I can start working through," Teller said. "I did not have to relearn to walk. There is still getting back to the speed of the game and all this different stuff. I think that a big part of it is really getting back into it. That starts this week. I got to practice a little bit more and steadily practiced more. I pray, but we do not know. That is Coach's decision."
Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said Teller's return, whenever it is, could bring an "edge" back to the Browns offensive line, which has otherwise held its own with veteran Chris Hubbard filling in for Teller.
"Hopefully getting him back here soon will bring that nasty spot back," Van Pelt said. "Hub did a great job in his place. But Wyatt definitely does play with an edge, he does have the strength and the nasty in him."
Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Houston Texans
Stefanski said he was "hopeful" Chubb would be available Sunday but maintained he would wait to see how Chubb felt after Friday's practice before making a determination.
Chubb was designated for return Monday but has yet to be activated to the 53-man roster. The Browns would need to make a roster move to free a space for Chubb before Sunday's game.
"How he feels and how he checks in with the trainers will be the determining factor," Stefanski said.
Asked if Chubb would wear the knee brace he's sported in practice whenever he returns to game action, Stefanski said it would be a decision based on Chubb's and the trainers' comfort level with the brace.
You Don't Say
Stefanski said the Browns have yet to use a silent count this season, a byproduct of the limited number of fans in opposing stadiums.
Stefanski cited that as one of the potential reasons why home teams across the NFL carry a losing record into Week 10.
"Typically, when you are going into a loud stadium, you spend a lot of time on the silent count and mixing up the silent count," Stefanski said. "We stayed on the quarterback's voice all season."
Don't Forget About The Rook
Third-round rookie LB Jacob Phillips has also been back at practice this week after missing the past three games with a knee injury that has dogged him since Week 1.
In the times he's been able to play, Phillips has impressed. During the Browns' Week 4 win in Dallas, Phillips was a disruptive force on three consecutive plays that led to a Cowboys punt.
"I think the big thing Jacob brings to the table is he is very competitive," defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. "It is like when the lights come on, his hair is on fire and he is running to the ball. He may not execute everything properly all the time, but the thing you know you are going to get is you are going to get a guy that plays hard. I think he will get better with more reps."