BEREA – Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme returned to practice in a limited role Thursday, and coach Eric Mangini said he’ll start whenever he’s healthy.
Delhomme limped through the locker room, then favored the injured right ankle during the half-hour of practice open to the media. He participated in individual drills and took his turn in the rotation with Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy.
The Browns host the Bengals on Sunday. Delhomme could start, be the No. 2 behind Wallace or be inactive for the third straight week, depending on the health of the ankle.
“We’re getting better,” Delhomme said. “We’re going to try a little bit today and we’ll see how we go.
“It’s better this week than last week, I will say that.”
Delhomme started the opener Sept. 12, but injured his ankle at the end of the first half. He finished the game, but hadn’t played or practiced since. Wallace has done OK filling in and the plan was to split repetitions in practice.
“Jake’s our starting quarterback, so when he’s ready he’ll start,” Mangini said.
In other Browns news:
Running back Jerome Harrison said there’s no issue between him and Mangini. Harrison was terse during an interview Wednesday and said he didn’t know his role on the team.
Mangini said Thursday he’s at work “every day” and any player can knock on his door. Harrison said he doesn’t need a meeting.
“We really have a pretty cool relationship,” Harrison said. “I don’t want it to come off like we have problems with each other or anything of that nature. That’s not the case.”
Harrison said he was just being honest when he said he didn’t know his role.
“I really don’t know,” he said. “I wasn’t saying it to be funny, I wasn’t saying it to take shots at nobody.”
** The starting defensive line of Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip), Robaire Smith (back) and Kenyon Coleman (knee) didn’t practice Thursday for the second straight day. Mangini said he expects all three to practice Friday.
** Linebacker Scott Fujita said the Browns voted Wednesday to decertify the union. Fujita said it’s a procedural move and a last resort. Teams across the league have held similar votes to give the union the option if the owners try to lock out the players in March.
** Linebacker Kaluka Maiava said he tore his ACL against Kansas City and will have surgery Tuesday in Atlanta. Maiava, who’s on injured reserve, was injured without contact. The knee gave out as he covered a kickoff.