Kareem Hunt granted time-off for good behavior by NFL.
Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for TheLandOnDemand.com and 850 ESPN Cleveland.
Takeaways from Browns practice and interviews …
1. Kareem rising: Good behavior during Kareem Hunt’s suspension for violations of the NFL personal conduct policy has earned him an early return. Kind of.
The NFL has permitted Hunt to rejoin the Browns to participate in meetings and practices. He can’t attend games and will not be formally reinstated to play until Nov. 4, the week of the Buffalo game.
But this early return enables Hunt to get a running start on re-acclimating himself to the team. Hunt participated in practice on Monday and – in the portion open to media – looked to be fully recovered from sports hernia surgery done on Aug. 29.
“He looked good,” reported coach Freddie Kitchens. “He looks like he is in good shape. He moved around good. It is always good to get good players back.”
The Browns were unsuccessful in persuading the NFL to allow Hunt to remain under their auspices during his suspension. The NFL felt Hunt had to “serve time” away from the team as discipline for his violations of the conduct policy while a member of the Chiefs. Hunt also forfeited eight game checks.
But this concession shows the NFL wasn’t picking on the Browns.
Hunt now will have three full weeks of practice before he returns for the Buffalo game on Nov. 10 in FirstEnergy Stadium, which will be his first in a Browns uniform.
How Kitchens will deploy Hunt and Nick Chubb together remains an intriguing question. Kitchens does not want to answer it now. He has said the coaches have a plan and will incorporate it at the appropriate time.
The early return enables the Browns to get Hunt in game shape before turning full attention to preparing him for his first game against Buffalo.
“I think Kareem had a good spring, a good training camp,” Kitchens said. “He went out with an injury in training camp so any reps he gets is good. For the most part, it is just good to have him back in the building, getting him back and continuing to support him in every way possible as a player and as a person.”
Guard Joel Bitonio said “it was really cool” having Hunt back.
“I know he’s trying to work his tail off to get back. He’s got a couple weeks where he’s going to figure it out. He did mostly scout team today, some good runs and good cuts. Really just nice to see him out there again.”
2. Turning the other cheek: The first reaction to Myles Garrett being punched in the face by a man posing as an autograph-seeker is bemusement, such as, who would be so stupid to risk Garrett’s wrath.
Kitchens joked, “I was glad the guy ran, you know.”
But the coach quickly added, “Myles Garrett is a good person. It is just sad to see somebody take advantage of a good person like that.
“You see guys all the time and you see people all the time that are wanting to take pictures or get autographs and things like that. Usually, the other part of it gets reported, right? The guy that won’t spend time taking a picture or it is rowdy signing autographs and all that, and then that guy becomes what? He is not really ‘fan friendly.’ You hardly ever see the other side of this, which is just sad that somebody would take advantage of it like that, especially with a guy like Myles.”
Garrett was unharmed by the surprise sucker punch. He filed a report with the Cleveland Police Department and the man was apprehended.
3. Brownie bits: Even on their bye week, the Browns lost ground in the AFC North when Baltimore stunned the Seahawks on their home field, 30-16, to move to 5-2 – 2 ½ games ahead of the 2-4 Browns. “Nothing has changed for us. We are more worried about us than the Ravens. We play them again. We are worried about us,” Kitchens said. “What you are describing is across the league. There are 16 happy teams a week not counting the byes. There are 16 happy teams and 16 teams that the world is ending. We just want to be one of those happy teams more often than we are not.” …
Free safety Damarious Randall missed practice with a leg injury. Kitchens said Randall was getting rehab inside and termed his status “day to day.” …
Odell Beckham Jr. disclosed on a post to his Instagram account that the NFL fined him $14,037 because his uniform pants did not cover his knees in the Seattle game – a violation of the NFL uniform code. Beckham wrote on Instagram: “14 k for some pants that are NOT gonna protect me from anything … this shxt is ridiculous.”