The Cleveland Browns will see two new faces on the practice field on Monday as safety Jabrill Peppers and defensive end Chad Thomas have been activated.
Peppers has been on the non-football injury/illness list while dealing with a groin injury, while Thomas opened camp as a physically unable to perform player after surgery for a sports hernia.
It will be the first opportunity for the Browns to see what they have in Thomas, a third-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Miami. Noted for his work in the run game, Thomas will join a crowded defensive end rotation that includes Carl Nassib, Chris Smith and Nate Orchard, among others, battling for backup roles to starting defensive ends Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah.
Peppers, who was one of Cleveland’s three first-round selections in 2017, also finds himself in a fight for a starting role as he looks to hold off Derrick Kindred, a fourth-round selection in 2016.
Peppers is also in a battle with himself to shake off what, at times, was a rocky rookie season, according to ohio.com:
“My mindset is I don’t know that [version of myself] last year. I can hardly watch tape of myself from last year. So this year, I don’t care what I’ve got to do, I’m proving to everybody, especially to myself, what I’ve got to offer and what I can do ‘cause last year that’s not what I did. So especially after my performance last year, no way I came into it thinking they were just about to say, ‘Here [is your starting job].’
“The production DK had last year, no one can knock that. I can’t just expect to come in and just play strong safety just cause they drafted me. No. Do you see what he produced last year? I came into it expecting to compete.”
Peppers and Thomas are both expected on the practice field when training camp resumes Monday from 2:35 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the team’s facility in Berea.