The Cleveland Browns take on the Chicago Bears tonight at 8:00pm at Soldier Field in Chicago. Here are four things to look for during this game.
First Down: A Terrelle Pryor sighting?
Will we finally see Terrelle Pryor tonight against the Bears? If we do, it would be a good and bad thing for the Browns.
First, the good. The Browns would finally get to see Pryor against other defensive backs and see how he has progressed. Pryor has made the transition from quarterback to wide receiver. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of players such as Josh Cribbs and Antwaan Randle El. The major difference with these players is that they made the switch coming out of college while Pryor is making his switch mid-NFL career.
Now the bad. Pryor has been battling a nagging hamstring injury throughout camp. When he spoke to reporters this week, he mentioned that he is only about 80-85% healthy. The fact is this, if he suffers another injury during the game tonight, he would likely find himself on the waiver wire. There is another option. Pryor could be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. If Pryor is placed on the PUP list, he would not be eligible to be on the active roster until week seven of the season.
Second Down: Crowell – West – Johnson
Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West and Duke Johnson are all competing for the starting running back position. The Browns are looking for one of these players to step up. Crowell has been the best of the backs so far through the preseason, though that is not saying much. Through the first three games, Crowell has carried the ball 17 times for 47 yards, an average of just 2.7. However, he has also been significantly better in pass protection.
West still has the major problem of going east to west instead of north and south. He dances way too much in the backfield, very Trent Richardson-esque.
The other Browns running back, Duke Johnson, has hardly been on the field. He, much like many other Browns’ players, had been battling a hamstring injury throughout training camp. He finally got to participate in last week’s game against Tampa Bay, however it was short lived as he was concussed. He will not play in the preseason finale.
Third Down: Roster Battles
The Browns’ roster has to be cut down from 75 to 53 by 4:00pm EST on Saturday. It will not be easy to trim the roster down to 53. There will be some surprises as it seems there always are. I am no NFL General Manager but I can make a few predictions of some players that will get cut: QB Pat Devlin, RB Shaun Draughn, RB Timothy Flanders, WR Darius Jennings, WR Vince Mayle, WR Rodney Smith, TE Rob Housler, DT Jacobbi McDaniel, DT Dylan Wynn, LB Darius Eubanks just to start.
I am looking forward to seeing of Josh Lenz will make this team and tonight will be an important game for him. He reminds me of a player like Julian Edelman. Another player I believe who is on the bubble but I believe will make this team is Jamie Meder. He has been tearing up offensive lines so far this preseason and this game is really important for him as well. It will be interesting to see what the depth will look like on the defensive line after cutting Phil Taylor.
Fourth Down: Get out of the game healthy
You hate to see any kind of injuries in the preseason, especially in the final game where you are already resting your starters in hopes to prevent any major blows to the team. The last thing you want to see is key reserve players get hurt and miss any significant time.
Four Downs will be a weekly post leading up to each game.