The news was not completely positive on Tuesday, but it was better than what it could have been for the Cleveland Browns and linebacker Anthony Walker.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski revealed that Walker will not require surgery, but he will be out for at least a week, and probably a bit more, after leaving practice on Monday with a knee injury.
Walker was able to make it to practice on Tuesday and participate in a walk-through while wearing a sleeve on his right knee, according to clevelandbrowns.com, so that is a good sign.
Stefanski did not say who will step in at middle linebacker while Walker is out, but he did say the defensive coaches will take advantage of Walker’s absence to cross-train the linebackers, according to a team-provided release:
“We are going to work a bunch of guys in. I think that is what (defensive coordinator) Joe (Woods) and the defensive staff have talked through. Really working a lot of guys into a bunch of different positions. Where you may see someone playing at say the MIKE today, he will play the WILL tomorrow. That is the same with safeties and corners. Moving the guys around, it is all part of the natural progression as you get started in camp.”
Losing Walker for any time is not ideal, but it could have been far worse if the injury had been more serious. The Browns are planning to have Walker call the plays in the huddle on defense this season, so the more time he is with the starting unit, the better.
Sticking with the linebackers, the Browns welcomed back rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for practice.
We have activated LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah from the reserve/COVID-19 list. pic.twitter.com/8h4AxXy2pr— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 3, 2021
Even though Owusu-Koramoah had been out since the start of training camp after landing on the list, Stefanski expressed confidence that the rookie can make up for lost time, according to a team-provided release:
“He has been definitely brought up to speed. I will tell you, it is kind of like last year when we finally got the guys, there is a difference between virtual and doing. He is similarly going to have to have a sense of urgency to pick things up. He understands what is at stake and the work that needs to be put into it. He will be just fine.”
The Browns will be back at practice on Wednesday at 2:25 p.m.