The Cleveland Browns hit the midway point of their preseason schedule on Saturday, taking on the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Browns skipper Freddie Kitchens has been mum on what his plan will be in terms of playing time for the starters, but there’s a good chance we see the likes of Baker Mayfield and the team’s other stars just a tad longer than the first time around.
However, there are injuries. It’s unlikely Odell Beckham Jr. will play as he deals with a “minor” hip injury and Jarvis Landry has been among the other Browns limited this week.
But the preseason is not about the stars. It’s about the surprises and fringe talents making a name for themselves and earning a spot in the 53-man roster.
So without further ado, here are some names to watch out for on Saturday as the Browns square up with the Colts.
Kareem Hunt Only Has Limited Time Left to Mesh With Browns
Kareem Hunt didn’t play in the Browns first preseason game against the Redskins, but there’s a good chance he gets some run against the Colts. Hunt has an eight-game suspension looming, and will be away from the team during that time. It’s now or never to get in some valuable reps, and the one-time NFL rushing leader seems ready to go after dealing with a groin that kept him out for the start of camp.
Browns coach Freddie Kitchens has been impressed with what he’s seen from Hunt so far.
“Kareem really came back [Wednesday] for the first time with meaningful reps,” Hunt said. “You see the ability, and I think everybody sees it.”
Hunt might not be 100 percent back to the player he was previously, but he feels good about where he’s at.
“It is a lot of natural ability, and I am still getting a feel,” Hunt said. “I would not say I am at my peak, but I am working my way back.”
Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi Needs Another Big Splash
Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi has been the most interesting story of the preseason, going from sleeping on a patch of grass to wearing Odell Beckham Jr.’s cleats on a highlight reel kick return in FirstEnergy Stadium.
But realistically, it’s going to be hard for the Browns to keep Sheehy-Guiseppi around as a pure return specialist. He’ll have to show some ability as a competent wide receiver or become undeniable as a returner, which would probably have to take another big play. On Cleveland’s depth chart, he’s still listed as the No. 3 return option.
During practice, Sheehy-Guiseppi has had an uneven performance. A notable moment was during the joint practices when he dropped a wide open touchdown, leading Baker Mayfield — who didn’t throw the pass — to spike him helmet.
Demetrius Harris can be a Big Playmaker for Browns
David Njoku has been dealing with a knee issue, giving Demetrius Harris some time to shine after dealing with a concussion that kept him out part of camp. Currently listed as the No. 2 TE, he should get some run against the Colts whether Njoku is active or not.
Much like Njoku, Harris is a physical freak. He’s 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, has 4.5 40-yard dash speed and can out-jump most defenders with a 36.5-inch vertical leap and a 10-foot broad jump.
“A big, athletic body,” Mayfield said of Harris. “He’s a guy that can go up and get it and we’re just expanding on his run-blocking ability and continue to grow with him in the offense. But he’s a guy that can make some plays that not everybody can.”