BEREA, Ohio -- Quick-hitters following practice:
The starters are tentatively scheduled to play less than a quarter in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Bears in FirstEnergy Stadium, coach Mike Pettine said. Rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel will finish the first half, with fellow backups Connor Shaw and, possibly, Rex Grossman, working the second half.
In explaining how Dion Lewis has taken the lead in the race for the No. 3 running back spot, Pettine said: "A lot of times you need that guy to be a third-down back, and I think he has just the short-area quickness. Even though he’s a small guy, he proved it in the game that he’s not afraid to stick his face in there in the pass-protection stuff. So, it’s not much of a (lead in the race), but if I had to handicap it, I would put him ahead."
Pettine said the team is hopeful that left defensive end Desmond Bryant (wrist surgery) will return soon. Armonty Bryant has played well in his absence, and Pettine said he could see the two of them sharing the job, that way they’re both fresh on third down.
"It’s very difficult for a pass-rusher to play every single snap," he said. "I’d rather if a guy is an elite pass-rusher work his reps backward to forward. Work him on third down, work him on second down and long. That way you’re guaranteeing that you have guys that have fresh legs in the fourth quarter."