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Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report: Day 17 - Hardesty is Back

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When I woke up this morning, my clock said 10:00 AM. The first thing that came to my mind was, "crap, I forgot that I wanted to go to Browns training camp today!" I felt a little bummed, only to read on Twitter that practice ended up being closed to the public due to the threat of rain. The team was originally going to practice inside, but when the rain held off, they decided to go out on the practice field anyway in front of the media only.

TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 17 (8/15/11)

  1. Hardesty Returns to Action: All eyes were on running back Montario Hardesty, who was doing something besides light jogs or standing around: he was taking part in the action. It seemed like a big step forward for Hardesty, who had been held out of contact drills for the past two weeks. He was not limited during practice and was given consistent reps. Tony Grossi of the Plain Dealer wrote an article here detailing Hardesty's return, including how soon the second-year back took his first hit.
     
  2. Massaquoi's Getting Closer: The good news on the injury front continues to pile up, as wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi did not have a boot on his foot. He was held out of practice, but based on the sound of things, I think he has a good chance at being back on the field some time this week.
     
  3. Ray Ventrone = New Starting Safety: Does that sound like music to your ears, Browns fans? Second-year man T.J. Ward wasn't cutting it, so Ray Ventrone was playing with the first-team defense today along with veteran Mike Adams. OK, let's get back to reality -- Ventrone was only a temporary replacement. Ward missed practice because he was busy seeing the dentist. Safety Usama Young remained out with a hamstring problem.
     
  4. More Precautions: Tight end Ben Watson (hamstring) and linebacker Scott Fujita (thigh) were held out of practice for precautionary reasons. Who started in place of Fujita with the first-team defense? Undrafted free agent linebacker Brian Smith, the player who forced a fumble on Graham Harrell this past Saturday. I wouldn't say that means he is guaranteed to make the roster. Chris Gocong was out so Kaluka Maiava still took his spot, and I think they want to keep Titus Brown at middle linebacker. There aren't any true "veteran" players beyond that.
     
  5. Brownies: Cornerback James Dockery had a couple of nice plays to make him stand out again...cornerback Joe Haden notched an interception in 7-on-7 drills...tight end Alex Smith had a rare training camp drop on a pass in the end zone...safety Brett Johnson, claimed off waivers recently, practiced...offensive lineman Billy Yates retired today.

Monday's Link Collection / Camp Sources