Defensive tackle Danny Shelton could miss three to six weeks

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns got some tough news on the injury front this week.

In two days, starters on the offensive and defensive lines suffered knee injuries, and a backup at tackle hurt his calf. The Browns consider each player week-to-week.

Defensive tackle Danny Shelton missed practice Thursday with an undisclosed knee issue.

“Nothing that I think that is way over the top, but he will be week-to-week and we will get Danny back as soon as we can,” coach Hue Jackson said.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported a couple of hours later that Shelton would miss three to six weeks. If he comes back quickly, he could be ready for the season opener. If not, he could miss two or three games. 
Shelton was one of the more improved players on the Browns defense in 2016. He was more active, and appeared to be growing into the expectations of being the 12th pick in the 2015 draft.

The Browns do have depth on the defensive front. Veteran Desmond Bryant is back, draftees Caleb Brantley and Larry Ogunjobi are competing and undrafted rookie Trevon Coley has impressed. The Browns also have Jamie Meder, who has had a good camp.

The Browns still would rather have Shelton on the field.

On Wednesday, the Browns said that guard Joel Bitonio also was week-to-week with a knee issue.

Jackson addressed that injury in a similar way as he did Shelton’s: The team would try to get him back as soon as possible.

Bitonio appeared briefly at a fan forum with commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday. Bitonio said the team simply is being cautious about his knee and he’ll be all right.

The third injury belongs to Cam Erving, who will miss Monday night's game against the Giants with a calf issue. Erving, a first-round pick, is in a fight to make the team. He has competed at tackle the same way he played center last season: some good snaps, but some glaringly bad ones.

To make the team, Erving needs to be on the field, and he would have been Monday because Joe Thomas will be given the Pro Bowler’s night off. Missing a game will not help him.