Banged-up Browns welcome RB Nick Chubb back to practice; QB Baker Mayfield (shoulder) absent

The banged-up Browns are in the midst of a longer week between games after defeating the Broncos on Thursday night. Some positive developments appear to be coming from the time off.

Running back Nick Chubb and right tackle Jack Conklin were on the field during Monday's portion of practice open to media members, according to the Associated Press' Tom Withers. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, safety John Johnson, center JC Tretter, defensive tackle Malik Jackson and tight end David Njoku did not participate while receiver Jarvis Landry joined his teammates for the stretching period before retreating inside the team's facility.

Mayfield was notably absent due to a shoulder injury initially suffered in Week 2 and aggravated in the Browns' Week 5 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Case Keenum played in his place Thursday night.

Landry returned to action on Thursday night after missing the previous three weeks due to a knee injury sustained in Cleveland's Week 2 win over Houston. He caught five passes for 37 yards in the game, but appeared to be dealing with a leg ailment late in the contest, limping to the sideline. Johnson, Tretter, Jackson and Njoku all played in the victory over Denver.

Chubb has missed Cleveland's last two games due to a calf injury suffered in the Browns' 47-42 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4. Kareem Hunt played the majority of the running back snaps in Week 5 before suffering a calf injury of his own that will keep him out for some time.

Third-stringer D'Ernest Johnson replaced the pair Thursday night, rushing for a career-high 146 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. The performance was enough to earn Johnson a nomination for Week 7's FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week Award.

Johnson's performance illustrated the current state of the Browns, a team expected to contend for a playoff spot following their first trip to the postseason since 2002, and first playoff win since the 1994 season. Cleveland has suffered an unusually high amount of injuries in recent weeks, which have also included receiver Odell Beckham cornerbacks Denzel Ward and A.J. Green, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and defensive ends Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. Tackle Jedrick Wills returned from injury Thursday night, while Conklin missed the game and was replaced by backup swing lineman Blake Hance.

The Browns host the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8 in a game that presents Cleveland with a chance to gain ground in the AFC North. The Browns are currently in third place in the division with Pittsburgh on a bye, trailing first-place Cincinnati and second-place Baltimore by one game.

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