Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for TheLandOnDemand.com and 850 ESPN Cleveland.
Takeaways from Browns practice and interviews …
Sometimes it seems as if Freddie Kitchens and Baker Mayfield are on different pages.
Like in critical situations of games, when things more often than not go awry.
And also on the continuing subject of Mayfield’s right hand injury.
In Pittsburgh, Kitchens told CBS sideline reporter Evan Washburn that he was preparing for Garrett Gilbert to play the second half after Mayfield knocked the hand against Bud Dupree’s face mask. But when X-rays came back negative on the hand injury, Kitchens said, Mayfield was fine enough to continue playing.
On Wednesday, Kitchens spoke to media prior to practice and said Mayfield “should not be” limited in practice.
But Mayfield, in fact, was limited in practice. He wore a compression wrap on his right hand and barely touched a football. Gilbert ran the first-team offense.
Afterwards, Mayfield confirmed he has not thrown a football since the Steelers game on Sunday and wanted to give the hand an extra day off.
“We were at walk-through tempo today besides the individual routes you guys saw, so no need to try [to throw] today,” Mayfield said.
Hmmmm. Wednesday is the first full day of work against the next opponent, so that comment was a little unusual.
Mayfield confirmed the injury was “a nice contusion, bruise, whatever you want to call it,” and he intended to “try to go [on Thursday].” He said he fully expected to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Because mama didn’t raise a wuss,” Mayfield asserted.
Mayfield said he did not think it would be a problem to play in the game without practicing with the No. 1 offense on the two biggest work days of the week.
“If we communicate on the right depths, where we need to be, shouldn’t have a problem,” he said. “It’s all about timing, and knowing we’ve built chemistry, and I need to put the ball where we’ve talked about it, and they need to have their depth and be there on time.”
Well, that’s kind of been a problem all year, hasn’t it, even when Mayfield has practiced all week with his receivers.
For the record, Mayfield was listed as limited on a bloated injury list of 17 players. Mayfield was listed with injuries to his hand and ribs.
Love those stripes: Maybe Mayfield is just confident the sight of the Bengals’ striped helmets will magically restore the fluidity of the offense from last season.
Mayfield feasted on the Bengals in two meetings last year after fired Browns coach Hue Jackson joined the Ohio rival as a special assistant to then-coach Marvin Lewis.
In two easy wins, Mayfield was 46 of 63 (73 percent) for 542 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. That computes to a 135.8 passer rating.
In 23 games against all other NFL teams, Mayfield has completed 508 of 830 (61.2 percent) for 6,100 yards, 35 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 83.7 and a record of 9-14.
Ain’t sayin’: Safety Damarious Randall was back at practice and said afterwards things have been patched up with him and Kitchens.
But Randall would not refute reports that he was left home from the Pittsburgh because he didn’t want to practice in the cold one day last week.
“It’s some internal issues. Everything has been resolved. Just kind of on to the Bengals this week,” Randall said.
“Felt awkward. But I’m on to next week. Really not thinking about last week. It’s in the past. The things that happened, happened.
“I’m not going to get into details about it. It is what it is at this point. We just kind of moved on from it.”
With Randall left behind, the Browns allowed Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges to complete pass plays of 31, 28, 30 (touchdown), and 44 yards.
“I definitely would have made a difference in the game,” Randall said.
Randall said he was surprised when he was told on Friday he wouldn’t make the trip to Pittsburgh.
Randall’s contract is up after this season. The Browns have shown little interest in keeping him from leaving in free agency. This “internal matter” undoubtedly has not improved the chance of Randall getting a new contract from the Browns.
“Like I said in August, I don’t know [what’s going to happen],” Randall said. “The contract situation is what it is. I’m just gonna keep putting my best foot forward and try to help this team win games.”
Supposedly, by agreeing to practice – indoors and outdoors.
Brownie bits: Left tackle Greg Robinson was cleared from concussion protocol and was a full participant in practice. Also, safety Eric Murray returned to practice for the first time on a limited basis since injuring a knee in the New England game on Oct. 27 …
Players who did not practice were right tackle Chris Hubbard (knee), center JC Tretter (knee) and defensive back Robert Jackson (ankle) …
In Cincinnati, wide receiver A.J. Green was ruled out of Sunday’s game by coach Zac Taylor. Green has not been active since injuring an ankle on the first day of Bengals training camp.