Browns right guard Kevin Zeitler walks off the field on Aug. 1 after suffering a calf injury during a training camp practice.

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

Hard Knock Life: Browns camp – day 7 news and notes

Right guard Kevin Zeitler to miss a few weeks with calf injury

August 3, 2018
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Daryl Ruiter-Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns’ offensive line took another hit Thursday with the news that right guard Kevin Zeitler will miss time.

Head coach Hue Jackson acknowledged following Thursday’s practice that Zeitler won’t be returning any time soon.

“He is going to be OK, but he is going to be down for a little while,” Jackson said. “It is a calf. It is unfortunate, but we will get him back. We will be back and ready to go hopefully in the next couple of weeks or so. Those things do happen in training camp.”

Zeitler, who walked off the field with a trainer under his own power, left Wednesday’s practice early with the injury and was not on the field Thursday, which was an ominous sign.

Spencer Drango has taken over at right guard in his place meaning that in the last two days three of the starting offensive line positions have seen a change.

"He has played left guard, he has played left tackle and he has been on the right side before so he has been all around," Jackson said. "That is a comfort that we have. He has to continue to get better like the rest of our guys, but he is competing.”

Joel Bitonio has taken over at left tackle for Shon Coleman, who is now splitting second- and third-team reps, and rookie Austin Corbett has replaced Bitonio at left guard.

“He is competing his tail off," Jackson said of Bitonio. "Myles [Garrett] is bringing it. That is the best look he can get every day. I think it is really fun to see, but (OT) Joel (Bitonio) is not giving up anything. It is a battle. He is doing well. We are the second day into it, and we will keep going.”

Bed time – It didn’t take long for Jabrill Peppers, a Michigan alum, to become a big fan of Denzel Ward, the No. 4 pick in the draft out of Ohio State.

“Denzel is a cool guy, man. Ready to work. Came in a little quiet, opened up a little but he didn’t have to talk much for us to know what he was capable of,” Peppers said in an interview with Bull and Fox on 92.3 The Fan Thursday. “He came right out locking guys up. I tell the receivers he put blankets on them so ask him what bed time story you want him to read to you.”

Peppers, who is expected to make an impact in his second season with a move from free safety to strong safety this year is excited about having Ward in the secondary.

“Once he puts on a little bit more weight, he’s going to be scary,” Peppers said. “He’s scary now but in this league to definitely be as healthy as possible you have to definitely maintain your body and learn your best playing weight. There’s a lot of things to playing at this level. You can’t just go out there and be the best guy on the field anymore.”

Catch of the day – Jarvis Landry made the catch of the day – if not camp – during an 11-on 11 series Thursday.

Landry reached out with one hand and hauled in a fade throw from quarterback Tyrod Taylor, much to chagrin of cornerback EJ Gaines, who had tight coverage on the play.

Not only did Landry make the one-handed grab but he managed to get both feet in as he fell out of the back corner of the end zone.

Taylor and Landry hooked up for another TD later in practice during an end of half situation – a third-and-9 with 00:07 on the clock.

D dominates – The defense got the best of the offense in the goal line run drill Thursday.

Carlos Hyde got the closest to the goal line – twice – once just shy of the end zone and the second stop came at the one.

“Dominated by the defense. Dominated by the defense. They whopped them. That is just what it is,” Jackson said. “If I am the offense, I am mad, I am going to go back and the next time that we have that period, I am going to come back and show that we are there.”

The retooled offensive line – which also saw center JC Tretter get the day off – was manhandled by the defensive front throughout practice as they also allowed several simulated sacks.

Safety Jabrill Peppers tackled rookie running back Nick Chubb for a loss and he also would've had a sack of Taylor, who threw a pair of interceptions – one of which came off of a tipped ball by Myles Garrett to Jamie Collins who couldn't catch it causing it to end up in the hands of Damarious Randall. Cornerback Terrance Mitchell caught the other Taylor pick. 

"That is exciting for me to see," Jackson said. "I have not seen us pick balls off like that. Those things, we do not want to see happen, but at the same time, I get to see the defense do something that I am excited to see. The tipped ball is going to happen every now and then. Tyrod is doing well. Just because those two balls went the other way, I am not going to put a damper on it. Do we want that to happen? No. At the same time, he is doing great things, and I think that our defense is doing some good things.”

Welcome back – Receiver Jeff Janis and left tackle Greg Robinson returned to practice Thursday.

Janis has recovered from a knee injury while Robinson cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Puppy pound counter – The Browns are up to 69 adopted puppies after 8 more were adopted from the Northeast Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Thursday. Since the program was launched in 2015, 292 puppies have found homes.

Injury report – LB Genard Avery (groin), LB Justin Currie (concussion), TE Seth DeValve (quad), DL Daniel Ekuale (calf), DL Lenny Jones (concussion), OL Kevin Zeitler (calf) and OL Desmond Harrison (toe-PUP) did not practice Thursday.

DL Trevon Coley left practice with an ankle injury.

Up next – Scrimmage Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.