Terrelle Pryor’s quest to make a successful transition from quarterback to wide receiver and make the Browns roster resumed Wednesday as Pryor was in pads and participating in practice, something he hasn’t done much since early August due to a hamstring issue.
But another player trying to make up for lost time, Johnny Manziel, isn’t throwing. Manziel was taken out of practice Sunday with what the team has called a sore arm and sore elbow, and he was rested Monday before Tuesday’s day off.
The Browns only opened practice to the media for 30 minutes, and in that time Manziel was seen throwing with only his left hand. Thad Lewis took the first snaps with the No. 2 offense.
Manziel has shown improvement after a lost rookie season but hasn’t taken many snaps with the No. 1 offense in practice and has taken none in the two preseason games. If he can’t play in Saturday’s preseason game at Tampa Bay it would be considered a setback because he needs game reps and has led the No. 2 offense on scoring drives in each of the the first two preseason games.
The Browns have three available quarterbacks in camp after Connor Shaw suffered a thumb injury in the preseason opener. Though Pryor would probably the emergency quarterback at this stage, the team has been adamant that he’s in camp to be a receiver.
Pryor needs to play in Saturday’s preseason game to prove to the team’s decision makers he’s making sufficient progress after missing both of the first two preseason games. The Browns probably don’t see Pryor as an immediate contributor, but in a crowded receiver room he figures as a player on the bubble with roster cuts coming next week.
Also back at practice Wednesday was Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden, who hasn’t played in the first two preseason games because he has a tender hamstring — and because the Browns need for him September and beyond, not August. His return is a welcome one, though, because the Browns played last week’s preseason game with eight defensive backs missing due to various injuries. Safety Tashaun Gipson, who led the NFL in interceptions before suffering a knee injury last November, remains sidelined with a calf injury.