BEREA - Rookie cornerback Eric Wright won`t play Sunday vs. the Texans and could miss a month, but he said the knee injury suffered last week in Baltimore could`ve been worse.
"When I watch the play, it looks pretty bad. I felt pretty bad," he said Friday. "But once I got up I realized that it wasn`t as bad as I initially thought it was when I was lying there.
"I felt good about it, got up and immediately started trying to get better. They locked me in the locker room. I was trying to go out and play in the second half."
Wright went down on the Ravens` first offensive play and had to be helped off the field. Coach Romeo Crennel wouldn`t reveal the results of an MRI, only saying surgery wasn`t needed. WKYC-TV`s Jim Donovan reported Wright will miss 4-6 weeks.
"I got twisted up a little bit," said Wright, who was listed as out on the injury report Friday. "I`ll definitely be back as soon as I can."
With Wright out, Daven Holly joins Leigh Bodden in the starting lineup and rookie fifth-rounder Brandon McDonald becomes the nickelback. McDonald worked his way into the lineup in dime situations, then took over in the nickel vs. the Ravens.
"I`m getting more comfortable, getting a little more playing time out there," he said. "It builds my confidence more. It just feels good to be able to be a part of it."
Crennel liked what he saw of McDonald vs. the Ravens, when he had a pass breakup.
"He`s got a lot of ability and pretty decent confidence," he said.
Right tackle Kevin Shaffer (knee) and third receiver Tim Carter (finger) were limited in practice and listed as questionable (50-50) on the official injury report.
Someone fell on Shaffer`s knee Sunday vs. Baltimore but he stayed in the game. He didn`t practice Wednesday, did a little Thursday and expected to do more Friday. He lined up with the first team during the half-hour of practice open to the media.
"I feel more optimistic after testing it (Thursday)," Shaffer said. "It didn`t hurt quite as bad as I thought it might hurt, so that`s a good thing."
For the Texans, running back Ahman Green (knee) was ruled out for the game.
Rookie left tackle Joe Thomas will face another stern test this week when he lines up against Texans defensive end Mario Williams (6-foot-7, 291 pounds), the first pick in the 2006 draft.
"He`s a big, strong, physical, athletic guy," said Thomas, the third pick in the 2007 draft. "He`s pretty much everything you want in a defensive lineman sizewise. He does a real good job using his hands, has a good bull rush and has a real good combination of moves. He`s a good player."
The Texans were widely ripped for drafting Williams over Reggie Bush and Vince Young, especially when he managed just 41/2 sacks as a rookie. But Williams already has five sacks this year.
"I think Mario has handled the pressure well," Texans receiver Andre Johnson said. "I think he`s getting better as it goes on. I think he played real well on Sunday, probably the best game he`s had since he`s been here, and I think he will just continue to get better."
Receiver Andre Davis, a second-round pick of the Browns in 2002, has resurfaced with the Texans and is having a solid year. The Browns traded him to New England during the 2005 preseason.
"He`s made some big plays," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "We all know he can run very well, but he`s doing a hell of a job. He`s a guy who has basically taken advantage of the second chance and we feel very fortunate to have him."
Davis` playing time increased when Johnson missed seven weeks with a knee injury. Davis has 25 catches for 471 yards, an 18.8 average and three touchdowns.
Kick returner Joshua Cribbs is getting noticed outside the AFC North.
"Just about every week, you turn on the TV and he`s making a big return," Houston`s Johnson said. "If anyone can`t see that, then they really must not know much about football. He`s probably the best special teamer in the league right now."
The Browns will wear the uniform from the 1957-59 seasons Sunday. The brown stripes will be removed from the helmets, leaving just a white stripe down the middle, and 3-inch brown numbers will be placed on both sides. There will be no numbers on the shoulder pads, and the solid brown socks will be replaced by striped socks.
* Running back Chris Barclay was signed off the Browns` practice squad by the Tennessee Titans and is on their 53-man roster.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or email@example.com.