BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Three more players returned to practice following a three-day weekend Monday as the team began preparations for Sunday’s season opener in Kansas City against the two-time defending AFC champion Chiefs.
“That’s been the plan all along is to make sure that you’re shape and you’re fresh,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said after Monday’s practice. “We had some guys working through some injuries and continue to do that, but that’s kind of been the plan and hopefully guys continue to progress.”
Center J.C. Tretter returned after missing nearly two weeks with an undisclosed injury.
Cornerback Troy Hill was also back on the field marking the first time since training camp began that the starters on defense were all healthy at the same time.
Receiver Rashard Higgins welcomed his first child last week and was excused from the team joining linebacker Mack Wilson in the new dads club. Stefanski emphasizes family time as much as work with his players, coaches and staff.
“It is definitely something we talk about is we have to be so intentional about when we are away from this being of being with our family,” Stefanski said. “You mentioned a couple of guys becoming dads for the first time and how important it is for them to be there and be present. We make a big point of it in this building, all of us when we are outside of this building, we have to make sure that we are where our feet are.”
All three players stretched as well as participated in the individual and positional drills during the portion of practice open to reporters.
Only one member of the active 53-man roster did not practice Monday, guard Michael Dunn, who has a back injury.
Going with Chase – Although they added Chris Naggar to the practice squad last week, Chase McLaughlin will be the Browns Week 1 kicker.
“We’re going into Game 1 with Chase, for sure,” Stefanski said. “It’s a competition at every position throughout the season but the plan was always to have two kickers on the roster.”
McLaughlin, claimed off waivers in May, made 7-of-9 kicks in the preseason with his two misses coming on a 57-yard field goal before halftime and a PAT wide right at Atlanta.
Naggar spent camp with the Jets.
Still got it – Odell Beckham Jr. made another ridiculous one-handed catch during Monday’s practice, another sign that the prolific receiver is closer to being ready for Sunday.
“He’s worked hard,” receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones said.
“He made a real good catch out there today, and it looked like Odell.”
Stefanski wouldn’t speak specifically to Beckham’s availability, but all signs point to No. 13 being on the field in Kansas City.
Filling out the squad – The Browns signed defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, a 2017 seventh round pick by the Vikings to the practice squad Monday morning bringing their total to the league maximum of 16 players.
The Northwestern product started 15 games for Minnesota last season and appeared in 32 regular season games where he has registered 59 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Injury report – G Michael Dunn (back) did not practice Monday.
Up next – Players off Tuesday, practice Wednesday Up next – Players off Tuesday, practice Wednesday.