Browns defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil told reporters Friday that rookie Justin Gilbert is slated to see snaps at cornerback across from Pro Bowler Joe Haden after missing the preseason opener against the Lions with a groin injury.
O'Neil praised Gilbert's fieldwork and classroom prowess before telling scribes that the rookie is "on his way to being a great corner," the Browns defensive coordinator said. The No. 8 overall pick, though, will share time Monday with the underrated Buster Skrine on the outside.
O'Neil dropped additional breadcrumbs Friday, sharing that fifth-year defender Isaiah Trufant -- not Skrine -- is listed as Cleveland's starting nickelback, which simply tells us that Skrine remains in play for a starting role over Gilbert.
Pass rusher Jabaal Sheard and Phil Taylor weren't listed as starters, either, but will be "major factors" in Mike Pettine's multiple-look 3-4 scheme, per O'Neil. Sheard was a "Making the Leap" candidate who Pettine pegged for a Mario Williams-like role come September, but the veteran mostly played with the twos against Detroit.
Taylor, meanwhile, should see plenty of time in a line rotation that looks deeper than anything the Browns have rolled out since their return to society in 1999.