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Shorthanded Browns defense could return key player vs. Rams

Browns linebacker Craig Robertson went through his second practice in a row Friday and is considered to be questionable Sunday against the Rams.

Robertson has been sidelined since he went down with an ankle injury Week 3 against the Raiders.

"It was good, good," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "We took it slow with him. Started with the straight line stuff, he was ahead of the curve and then his change of direction looked good too. It's all positive with Craig."

Without Robertson, second-year linebacker Christian Kirksey has seen his snaps increase while Tank Carder has gone from an exclusive special teams player to a regular fixture on the defense.

Pettine said he'd need to talk with head athletic trainer Joe Sheehan to see how Robertson responded to the practices before knowing whether or not he'd be available against the Rams.

Pro Bowl defensive back Joe Haden (concussion) will miss his second consecutive game and Tashaun Gipson (ankle) is in position to miss his third. Gipson is listed as doubtful and tight end Rob Housler (hamstring) is also out.

Rookie defensive lineman Danny Shelton (knee), defensive lineman John Hughes (knee), wide receiver Marlon Moore (hamstring) and Carder (shoulder) are also questionable.

"You're going to be optimal when you have your guys out there all playing together, that's well known. We're not going to use that as an excuse," Pettine said. "That's why I always tell the staff that coaches are measured. It's just as important that we see how prepared their backups are and how they play as opposed to just the starters. A lot of teams go through this, it's a set of circumstances that we have to deal with."

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