This past weekend, the Cleveland Browns started training camp in West Virginia. It was a huge shift from their routine since they've typically held practices in Berea and there's also an absence of fans.
Still, there was plenty of coverage from the first few practices as well as a lot of media sessions for the players and staff. Let's take a quick look at four early takeaways from the first weekend.
4. Great news at linebacker
It was widely expected that Sione Takitaki and possibly even Anthony Walker, Jr. would start the year on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform List). Walker suffered a quadricep tear. in September and missed the final 14 games of the season. His loss was extremely difficult since the defense was struggling with communication and accountability and he was becoming the unifying voice.
With him out, there was a rotation at the MIKE linebacker spot and eventually, Takitaki took over the important job. He was playing incredibly well but then suffered a torn ACL in Week 13. With his injury happening so late in the year, he wasn't expected to be on the 53-man roster right away.
Now, however, there's hope that both linebackers will be ready to go. While Takitaki wasn't on the field practicing, he also wasn't placed on the PUP which is a very encouraging sign.
As for Walker, he was out there practicing, and looks like he's ready to go full speed.
Cleveland added a lot of help on defense — but focused on the secondary and the defensive line. They're electing to stick with the players they know at linebacker and while we don't know yet if that's the right call, it does look as though they'll have their top options ready to go early on.