BEREA — The Browns expect to be at their healthiest so far this season when they return from the bye to face the Giants on “Monday Night Football” on Oct. 13.
Receiver Donte Stallworth (quadriceps) plans to play for the first time, and offensive lineman Ryan Tucker (hip) said Wednesday he’s still on course to make his season debut, which could come at right tackle in place of the struggling Kevin Shaffer.
Linebacker Willie McGinest (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday and should be in the lineup after missing two games. The week off should also benefit receiver/kick returner Joshua Cribbs, who’s been slowed by leg and shoulder injuries.
“When the schedule came out and I saw the bye so early, I wasn’t so thrilled about it,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “But with how many injuries we’ve had and needing to get guys back, it gives us an extra week to get things going.”
The Browns (1-3) practiced Wednesday, but coach Romeo Crennel rested a few guys who are banged up. Nose tackle Shaun Rogers (shoulder), tight end Kellen Winslow (knee), running back Jason Wright (knee) and defensive lineman Shaun Smith (successful hand surgery) didn’t practice but are expected to be OK for the Giants game.
Shaffer also was out after suffering a concussion Sunday, and safety Sean Jones isn’t ready to return after arthroscopic knee surgery following the opener. Crennel said Jones is unlikely to play against the Giants.
No go for Joe yet
Receiver Joe Jurevicius, who’s been on the physically unable to perform list all season, will be eligible to start practicing Oct. 14, but Crennel said he won’t be ready. Jurevicius had multiple offseason surgeries on his knee, first to clean out loose cartilage, then to remove a lingering staph infection.
“He might take a little bit longer,” Crennel said. “I’m not anticipating him being able to start practicing after the Giants game.”
General manager Phil Savage said Jurevicius has done a lot of strength exercises and some jogging, but no football activity. Jurevicius has been in the locker room a lot lately, walking with a limp and a tight wrap on the knee.
D.A. in denial on rift
During the third quarter in Cincinnati on Sunday, quarterback Derek Anderson and receiver Braylon Edwards had a brief but heated exchange on the sideline and running back Jamal Lewis stepped between them. Anderson initiated the dust-up when he said something about Edwards’ 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty that cost the Browns a first down.
Despite television evidence to the contrary, Anderson disputed that any incident occurred.
“There was no argument whatsoever,” he said Wednesday. “I just mentioned to him about being smart, getting the personal foul.
“He and I were talking. He wasn’t yelling at me, nothing was going on. Jamal happened to come over and we were in the process of getting the whole offense together. It looked like we were arguing and he grabbed a hold of us, which wasn’t the case.”
Quinn hanging in
Crennel was asked if backup quarterback Brady Quinn, who hasn’t made a start in his two seasons, can lose ability by not playing much.
“Sometimes what happens is a player gets discouraged because he’s not playing,” he said. “But he doesn’t lose any ability.”
What about Quinn getting discouraged?
“If he’s discouraged, he doesn’t show it,” Crennel said. “He’s a very professional young man, a smart young man, he works hard at his job. He might not like what the situation is, but he understands what the situation is.”
Rookie tight end Martin Rucker returned to practice for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery during the preseason to remove loose cartilage. Crennel welcomed him back by making him run a sprint by himself before the team jog.
* The players practiced outside in full pads. They will practice again this morning, then be off through Sunday.
* Savage said Monday he has open communication with Winslow’s agent, but renegotiation talks are on the back burner.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.