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Slight surprise: Linebackers returning from injuries practice on first day of Browns training camp

Sione Takitaki and Anthony Walker both on the field for Browns training camp

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cleveland Browns kicked off training camp for the 2023 NFL season after a short flight from Berea to West Virginia. The start of camp away from home gives the team a chance to focus on gelling without fans and with less media coverage. Thankfully, a few veterans of the Browns beat made the trip over to the Greenbrier.

Every year, injuries are a key focus of training camp. Before the start of camp, Cleveland sidelined three players with injuries and Marquise Goodwin due to blood clots.

Linebackers Anthony Walker and Sione Takitaki re-signed with the team this offseason but they were limited in OTAs so far this offseason. Walker tore his quadriceps tendon in September, a grueling rehab process while Takitaki’s ACL tear took place at the start of December.

HC Kevin Stefanski talked about the two linebackers being on the field to open training camp on Saturday:

As Stefanski noted, they will continue a rehab process with both Walker and Takitaki but the team is relying on the same group of linebackers from last year. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will continue his role as the weakside linebacker while Walker holds fort in the middle and Takitaki has the strong side.

Jordan Kunaszyk was also re-signed this offseason while Jacoby Phillips and Tony Fields II round out the returners at the position.

GM Andrew Berry did add Matthew Adams in free agency and Mohamoud Diabate and Charlie Thomas III as undrafted free agents after the draft.

Good news for Walker and surprisingly good news for Takitaki for both to be on the field today. The team is hoping that the improved defensive line will help their linebackers produce better in DC Jim Schartz’s system.