The Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills head to Cleveland after two days of inter-squad practice at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York (home of the Bills training camp), and will kick off Thursday night at 8 PM at First Energy Stadium.
The game will be aired nationally on ESPN with the Monday Night Football broadcast crew and like last year, backup quarterback Johnny Manziel will be in the spotlight. The game will air locally on WKYC Channel 3 for those without cable.
Manziel had a solid preseason opener and by all reports has performed better this year in training camp than he did as a rookie. The second preseason game of the 2015 season should give him an opportunity to play at least a quarter, if not more.
Starting quarterback Josh McCown has been exceptional thus far in training camp and one preseason game and the Browns will look to get some more cohesiveness with the first string offense Thursday night against a tough Buffalo defense.
Although the Browns did not perform well Monday in drills against the Bills, particularly the Browns secondary versus the Bills wide receivers, they followed it up with a much better day Tuesday.
Preseason games are vital for seeing who will make the cut, getting the team familiar with the playbook, and shaking off the rust, but above all the main goal of the preseason is to make it through with as many players in good physical condition as possible. The Browns enter Thursday night with a long list of injuries.
The offensive side of the ball will not feature hyped up former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor, who has been dealing with hamstring issues for the past couple weeks and has not played much of training camp including the preseason opener against Washington. Veteran wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is also expected to miss Thursday night’s game along with third-round draft-pick Duke Johnson.
The area of biggest concern for the Browns in terms of injuries heading into Thursday night is the secondary. Cornerbacks Justin Gilbert, Joe Haden, Pierre Desir and K’waun Williams all missed Tuesday evening’s practice against Buffalo, but the good news is that if it were a meaningful game they all would most likely be able to play. The Browns want to excercise caution in the preseason and keep the team as healthy as possible heading into opening day in roughly three weeks.