BEREA, Ohio — Rookie Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah returned to practice Tuesday after the weightlifting accident last week that resulted in forehead stitches, and now has legitimate chance to make a impact in Kansas City.
If he makes progress between now and the opener Sept. 12, he might even crack the starting lineup.
Koramoah was able to put the helmet on Tuesday, but took it off at times during the early part of practice open to the media. He’s remained in great shape and stayed on top of things, so it won’t take him long to get back up to speed.
His emergence led some teams to call and inquire about trading for weakside linebacker Mack Wilson, according to Albert Breer of The Monday Morning Quarterback. With Malcolm Smith making the initial 53 and fifth-round pick Tony Fields II returning from his foot injury, the Browns do have a surplus at the Will spot.
Koramaoh’s talent and versatility are such that the Browns will want to get him on the field in Kansas City, whether or not he starts the game. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in speed, blitz ability and instincts.
The Browns practice through Thursday and then have three days off before reconvening to prepare in earnest for Kansas City next week. Stefanski said that Owusu-Koramoah has no restrictions.
“He’s good to go,’’ he said.
Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit making good progress
Williams (groin) and Delpit (hamstring) were among the handful of players not practicing Tuesday, but all are making good progress, Stefanski said.
The Browns hope to have either or both of Williams and Delpit back for the Chiefs game. Neither has a serious injury, and both are resting as long as possible in an effort to try to play in the opener.
Williams was making good strides before straining the groin in the Giants game, and will either rotate in once he’s healthy, or play in some sub-packages. Delpit is slated for a key role in the three-safety dime along with John Johnson III and Ronnie Harrison Jr., and the Browns are anxious for him to get back.
The other players sitting out Tuesday were linebacker Sione Takitaki (hamstring), cornerback Troy Hill (undisclosed), guard Michael Dunn (back) and JC Tretter (undisclosed).
Rashard Higgins and Malik Jackson excused
Higgins and Jackson were excused from practice Tuesday. Stefanski said he expects them back later in the week. Higgins sat out the final two days of practice last week and the Falcons game with a leg injury, but it’s unknown if his absence is related.
Odell Beckham Jr. looks ready
Beckham, who slid into his first 11-on-11s last week, looks perfectly healthy in practice. Beckham has looked like his speedy, playmaking self in work off to the side with Mayfield and pre-game workouts. In Atlanta, he sprinted downfield and made a trademark one-handed grab. Beckham is on track to play in Kansas City, but the Browns will continue to keep a close eye on him.
Takk McKinley getting his sea legs back
McKinley, who returned to the field last week after three weeks of working through a personal issue, looks more explosive each day. … Defensive tackle Jordan Elliott has also worked hard and has come a long way since his rookie year.
Demetric Felton to return kicks
With JoJo Natson waived, Felton will return kickoffs and possibly some punts, Stefanski said. He added that Donovan Peoples-Jones can return punts, and the Browns plan to develop Anthony Schwartz into a returner, something he didn’t do at Auburn. A camp-long hamstring injury thwarted those plans, but he hopes to get back at it soon.
Felton returned one kickoff in Atlanta for 37 yards, and had one punt return for 11.
“It’s a little tough not being able to get those reps again because it is different than playing receiver,’’ he said. “You have to be completely comfortable catching kicks. Going back on it, I try to just visualize myself catching kicks when I am watching practice and then when I was able to go back out and practice, I pretty much was right where I left off just being calm, being confident and just building on from there.”
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