The Browns were hoping that third-round pick Duke Johnson would step up and have a huge role in the backfield, possibly as a starter. But the Miami product struggled with a hamstring injury early in camp, and is recovering from a concussion. The Browns figure to use all three backs liberally, and we wouldn't expect many yards in the season opener against the Jets' massive defensive line.
Pettine also went out of his way to dispel a particular rumor floating around Thursday, saying that wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is in no danger of being cut. While Bowe didn't show much in the preseason, he's due more than $6 million guaranteed this season. Cutting him would be lighting owner Jimmy Haslam's money on fire.
Still, it was telling that Bowe played into the third quarter of the final preseason game. The team needs Bowe to step up, and he only delivered one catch for eight yards. Pettine sent a message by playing Bowe alongside plenty of Browns players who won't be on the roster in 48 hours.