BEREA — Coach Romeo Crennel was awaiting medical reports Tuesday on two of his top starters.
Left guard Eric Steinbach walked off the practice field Tuesday and didn’t return. Linebacker Willie McGinest didn’t practice with a back injury and is headed to Los Angeles for further examination.
Steinbach, who signed a seven-year, $49.5 million deal in the offseason, fell on his right knee inside the fieldhouse and walked off the field on his own power. He hasn’t missed a game in his four years in the NFL.
“I would say he bruised it,” Crennel said. “We didn’t have pads on, were on turf and he came down on the knee. I would say it’s bruised, but I’m not a doctor.”
The Browns are counting on Steinbach and rookie tackle Joe Thomas to anchor the left side of a revamped offensive line. If Steinbach were to miss significant time, that would be a huge blow. Converted defensive lineman Andrew Hoffman is listed second on the depth chart, and journeyman Lennie Friedman filled in Tuesday.
McGinest, 35, missed two practices Monday with what was announced as tightness in the back. Crennel said Tuesday McGinest had back problems during his time in New England.
“He wanted his doctor in Los Angeles to take a look at it,” Crennel said. “There’s something that caused the tightness and pain issue, so we’re going to get it further evaluated.”
The back’s a sensitive area, and Crennel was asked his level of concern.
“He was up walking around,” he said. “We’ll just have to see.”
McGinest is being counted on to stop the run on first and second downs and provide some pass rush on third downs.
Linebacker Matt Stewart will undergo further evaluation of his shoulder.
“As these injuries begin to mount a bit, it’s a little concern going into the game,” Crennel said of the preseason opener Saturday vs. Kansas City.
He can relate
Second-year receiver Travis Wilson is glad to see rookie quarterback Brady Quinn in the fold. Not only is Quinn the future of the franchise, he gets Wilson off the hook.
“I was taking all the heat until Brady started doing this this year,” said Wilson, a third-round pick who held out last year. “Even before we broke minicamp, Coach Romeo had made a little comment to the team about getting here on time, ‘unless you want to be hurting like Wilson.’
“(Quinn) kind of helped me out a little bit by doing this.”
Wilson said it was intimidating joining his teammates after the holdout.
“It’s not too good of a feeling,” Wilson said. “But you’ve been through worse things. Draft day is about as nerve-racking as walking in.
“Your teammates understand, but you’ve got to earn their respect back a little bit, put in the hard work you missed.”
Right tackle Ryan Tucker told the Akron Beacon Journal that the banned substance he took was part of a medical regimen when he had mental health issues last season.
“In no way was I taking anything to gain an unfair advantage or an advantage on the field of play,” Tucker said.
Tucker tested positive for steroids and received an automatic four-game suspension. He didn’t appeal.
“No excuses. It was wrong and I’m totally sorry,” Tucker said. He added that his testosterone level was low and a doctor was trying to correct that.
The Browns corrected the depth chart distributed Monday, listing veteran Kenny Wright ahead of rookie Eric Wright at cornerback. Kenny Wright has been sidelined this week with a strained groin, so Eric Wright will likely start Saturday night vs. the Chiefs.
• Defensive end Orpheus Roye, who had arthroscopic knee surgery last week, is rehabbing at team headquarters. The Browns hope to have him for Week 1
• Third-string quarterback Ken Dorsey took more repetitions than usual. Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson may have tired arms. Normally there are more than three quarterbacks in camp.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.