BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns continue to be bitten by the injury bug along the line of scrimmage.
Young defensive tackle Danny Shelton was held out of practice Thursday, the final one of training camp ahead of the 2017 season, and is expected to be out of the lineup for a while because of a knee injury.
“Danny will be week to week,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “He has a knee, and like the other guys, 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.”
The announcement of Shelton’s injury came one day after the Browns confirmed that offensive linemen Joel Bitonio (knee) and Cameron Erving (calf) were ruled out for Monday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Like Shelton, Bitonio and Erving are said to be “week to week” because of their injuries.
“I know our medical staff, they do everything they can to get our guys back soon, but I don’t think it is anything major that is going to keep them out a ton of time,” Jackson said. “I just think we have to work through some things to make sure we get those guys both healthy.”
According to Jackson, the goal is to have both Bitonio and Erving ready to play before the start of the regular season, which gets underway against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, September 10.
“Some guys are fast healers. Some guys take a little longer,” Jackson said. “In my opinion, we will have both of these guys back before the regular season. There is no question in my mind, but I don’t want you guys to hold me to that and be like, ‘Hey, Hue Jackson, this is what you said.’ I have had enough of that for a few days.”
Although Bitonio has been successful in clearing the way for the running game and protecting the quarterback in his three years with the Browns, injuries have brought to a premature end each of the last two seasons.
Bitonio has played in just 15 of a possible 32 games over the last two years.
After a standout rookie season in 2014, Bitonio was expected to be a key part of the Browns’ offensive line in 2015, but an ankle injury limited him to just 10 games, and ultimately, led to his placement on injured reserve following a lopsided loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in December of 2015.
Following an offseason to heal, Bitonio played in the first five games of the 2016 season, but was forced to the sideline for the remainder of the year because of a Lisfranc injury in his right foot that required surgery in mid-October.
In Bitonio’s place, veteran interior lineman John Greco will start at left guard, and rookie Roderick Johnson will start at left tackle against the Giants.
“Absolutely, he is somebody I trust, somebody I know,” Jackson said of Greco. “He knows how to play. He did a lot of great things for us last year before he got injured. At center and guard, he is a guy that is a plug-and-play guy. He knows to walk in and play.”
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