CLEVELAND — Browns coach Hue Jackson said it would be unrealistic to think they could simply replace the irreplaceable Joe Thomas.
Still, he was pleased with backup Spencer Drango, who stepped into the Pro Bowl left tackle massive shoes in Sunday's loss to the Vikings.
"He battled and battled hard," Jackson said Monday on a teleconference. "Spencer and our offensive line, I give them a lot of credit. They did a good job of battling that way."
Without Thomas, who suffered a season-ending triceps injury that sidelined him for the first time in his 11-year career, Cleveland still found ways to move the ball, especially in the first half, against a stout Minnesota defense.
Through it all, Drango held his own against Everson Griffen and had perhaps one of his best plays when he sealed off the Pro Bowl defensive end on a 26-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter.
"I think Spencer did a great job; to come in and play tackle against one of the better guys in the league is tough to do," left guard Joel Bitonio said after the game.
"I think late there was a couple plays where he probably wanted back, but honestly he did a really good job for his first time out there. He's a gamer. He played so many games in college. He stepped in last year, and he's going to fight for you."
The Browns also made adjustments to find ways to help Drango, who started nine games at guard as a rookie in 2016, and mitigate the loss of Thomas.
"We did some chipping, some slamming over there to that side. We did some things left-handed a little bit," Jackson said. "We did what we needed to do to help just like we would on any player on our team."
Jackson, who said last week the Browns would re-evaluate all options at left tackle during the bye week, said Drango likely earned himself another shot at the job going forward.
"I think he did enough to warrant another opportunity to go out there and play. I think he did a really good job," he said..
"But again, I want to look at all of our options because my job coming out of this bye is over the next eight games put the best football team out there that gives us the best chance to compete and have a chance to win that we can. That's what we'll do."