With roster cuts looming next week, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor knows that it’s crunch time for him if he wants to make the 53-man roster for the regular season. After missing the teams scrimmage in Columbus and the team’s two preseason home games against Washington and Buffalo, Pryor needs to be on the field beginning Saturday in Tampa Bay to keep his chances of being a Brown on September 13 a reality.
‘Not being able to play football, a lot of people would go crazy,” Pryor said. “I know it’s important, I know that, but at the same time, this injury, I’m dedicated to it and I’m dedicated to getting healthy as fast as possible so I can help the Browns. That’s really where we’re at.”
Pryor has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury for the majority of training camp. Pryor first suffered the injury on day five of training camp on August 4. He returned to practice on August 15, but aggravated the hamstring again during workouts against the Bills in New York last week. It makes people wonder if Pryor returned to the field too soon because he’s learning to become an NFL wide receiver after being a quarterback.
“I think yes and no because I’ve never had this injury,” Pryor said. “They had me feeling good. I think we have great trainers here, and they take their craft and their work very serious. They got me up and running, and I was running full speed straight ahead. I was like, ‘I feel pretty good.’ Then, I got up to Buffalo and it tightened up. When we got through the MRI it ended up saying that it was better the second time I did it than the first. We’re making big progress even though I had a second fall off. That’s positive news and I feel a lot better today, running routes. It didn’t really get tight on me or anything like that. I guess that’s where we’re at. I don’t really know the answer to anything else in terms of that.”
While we won’t know if Pryor will put his number 87 jersey on at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay until Saturday evening, but based on how he felt following the Browns last full practice in Berea on Thursday, Pryor expects to finally play an NFL game as a wide receiver this weekend.
“I would love to. It depends on tomorrow,” Pryor said. “I felt really good today, caught about four or five balls in practice. I felt good today in practice. I felt good today, but it really comes down to Coach Pett (Head Coach Mike Pettine) and what our trainer Joe (Sheehan) comes up with. To me, I want to go, but it’s not my call. I’m not the professional in that area. If I could make the decision I’d go.”
“It depends on how he responded to the reps he got today,” head coach Mike Pettine said following Thursday’s practice. “He took teams reps today and went through all of individual. He took team reps. I just don’t know how – if he comes and says it is sore or if it stiffened up on him at the end then, there is a chance he doesn’t go. If he handled it well because tomorrow is essentially a walkthrough – today was the last rack of full-speed plays. If somebody didn’t go today, then they are likely not to go.”
If Pryor does play, it remains to be seen how much playing team he will get with Saturday’s game being the dress rehearsal for the starters for the regular season. Pryor should see time in the final preseason game on September 3 at Chicago against the Bears, if he avoids the first round of cuts on September 1.