BEREA, Ohio — Browns starting safety Juan Thornhill returned to practice, a promising sign for Cleveland's defense going into Monday night's game at Pittsburgh.
Thornhill, one of the Browns' key off-season acquisitions, sat out the 24-3 win in the season opener against Cincinnati with a calf injury. He was not on the field Thursday, but did some stretching and individual drills during the portion of practice Friday open to the media.
Thornhill hadn't practiced since Sept. 6.
The 27-year-old returned an interception for a touchdown in the Browns' preseason finale at Kansas City. Thornhill spent four seasons with the defending Super Bowl champions before signing a three-year, $21 million contract in Cleveland as a free agent in March.
With veteran Rodney McLeod filling in for Thornhill in Week 1, the Browns' secondary and defense played well, holding Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to a career-low 82 yards passing.
While that was impressive, Cleveland safety Grant Delpit said the unit can be even better with Thornhill.
“Yeah, it’s going to be scary, man,” he said. “Juan had a little preview of what he could do in KC — pick 6. So we're trying to carry that momentum. He’s got great ball skills, smart guy, two Super Bowl rings. We have a pretty deep room.”
Defensive tackles Maurice Hurst (hamstring) and Shelby Harris (Achilles tendon) were also back at practice after missing Thursday.
Rookie defensive tackle Siaki Ika (foot) remained out.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski will provide an update on injuries following Saturday's practice.
Cleveland will try to end a 19-game losing streak in the regular season at Pittsburgh.