BEREA - The Browns may be without right tackle Kevin Shaffer and nose tackle Ethan Kelley on Sunday when the Houston Texans visit.
Neither practiced Wednesday after experiencing swelling in their knees following Sunday`s overtime win over the Ravens. The Browns already have lost right guard Seth McKinney (shoulder) and nose tackle Ted Washington (knee) for the season, and defensive lineman Shaun Smith missed the Ravens game with a knee injury and didn`t practice Wednesday.
Shaffer said someone fell into his knee Sunday but he was able to finish the game.
"I heard a little something," he said. "If it was a little worse, it could`ve been bad. Luckily it stopped where it stopped."
Shaffer said the MRI revealed damage, but coach Romeo Crennel said surgery wasn`t necessary. Neither would reveal the extent of the damage and Shaffer said he doesn`t know how it will affect him when he tries to practice today.
"I haven`t tested it at all, so I don`t have any idea," he said.
Crennel said Shaffer`s replacement would depend on how long he`s expected to be out. If it`s only a week, Nat Dorsey would probably start at right tackle. If it`s an extended period, Ryan Tucker might switch back from right guard. Tucker`s a natural right tackle who moved inside when McKinney was injured.
Kelley has developed into an important part of the defense since replacing Washington. Crennel said surgery wouldn`t be needed and hoped he might be able to practice today.
If Kelley can`t go, Smith would shift from end to nose. If Smith can`t go - "I`ll be out there," he said - rookie Louis Leonard could get the start in his first significant NFL action.
The Browns had only four defensive linemen healthy for practice.
After Phil Dawson kicked the winning field goal in overtime Sunday, he was greeted by son Dru, 6, who was attending his first game.
"I don`t know if he understood what happened," Dawson said.
Dawson got delayed on the field celebrating and doing interviews and expected the team to be in the showers when he reached the locker room. But when he carried Dru in, the team was waiting for him to be part of the postgame prayer and for Crennel to address the team.
"Next to having my son there, that was probably the highlight of my career," Dawson said. "We usually have a pretty strict routine when games are over and guys are trying to get in and get showered up.
"The team was waiting on me. That means a great deal. We`ve been talking all year that we`re a team and I think that`s another obvious example of how we`re all together in this thing."
D.A. makes YouTube
There`s a video on YouTube of quarterback Derek Anderson interrupting an on-field interview of Ravens kicker Matt Stover after it appeared Baltimore had won.
Anderson walks by, leans in front of the camera and says, "We got overtime, fellas. We got overtime."
"I was a little fired up," Anderson said Wednesday. "I`m sure Matt wasn`t very happy. Matt, I apologize. I got out of focus there a little bit."
Dawson got a kick out of the highlight.
"That`s great," he said. "I know both those guys. I know they both laughed about it after. D.A. has a perfect personality for all this. He`s a fun-loving, carefree guy and he`s fun to play for."
Thomas: What punch?
Rookie left tackle Joe Thomas said he didn`t realize he`d been punched by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata until he watched the film.
"When you`re in the pile, you get knocked around a lot," Thomas said. "When you`ve got a helmet on, it`s not really a big deal. Sometimes guys get hot and it`s a natural reaction."
Had he ever been punched in the helmet before?
"In practice plenty of times, but never in a game," he joked.
Thomas said he and Ngata normally have a friendly relationship.
Braylon boosts Carr
Receiver Braylon Edwards credited former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr for helping him develop into the player he`s become. Carr retired Monday.
"Coach Carr was a great coach to me," Edwards said. "He taught me how to be a man. He allowed me to mature in his program. I had a lot of fun at Michigan. I cherish my times. I`m glad he was able to go out on his own terms, to retire on his own and go out in a sense on top. We had a winning year."
Joshua Cribbs leads the NFL in kickoff returns with a 32.8-yard average. He passed the Jets` Leon Washington, who`s at 32.7.
*The Browns will practice in the morning today so the players can spend more time with their families.
*Â Linebacker D`Qwell Jackson was limited to special teams duty Sunday after returning from an ankle injury. Crennel said he`d return to his normal starting spot on defense this week.
*Receiver Tim Carter was limited in practice with a finger sprain.
*Texans running back Ahman Green (knee) didn`t practice.
"My kids, my wife - just waking up every morning and seeing those guys." - Browns center Hank Fraley, when asked what he`s thankful for.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.