September 1, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
81°F

Browns RB Peyton Hillis misses practice to rest thigh, expected to start Sunday

BEREA – Running back Peyton Hillis, who has 322 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his first season with the Browns, didn’t practice Friday as the team chose to rest his sore thigh.

He showed up on injury list Thursday as limited.

“He felt a little tightness (Thursday),” coach Eric Mangini said Friday. “It shouldn’t be an issue for the game.”

Hillis has become the focal point of the offense over the last two weeks, rushing for 144 yards against the Ravens and 102 against the Bengals. He has a touchdown in every game.

Quarterback Jake Delhomme continued to work his way back from a high ankle sprain, and the expectation is he’ll start Sunday against the Falcons (3-1) for the first time since the opener.

But Mangini said the decision will come Saturday night, and that the first-team repetitions have been split almost 50-50 between Delhomme and Seneca Wallace this week. Wallace has started the last three games.

“Jake’s much further ahead than last week, but we’re still going through the process,” Mangini said. “It comes down to tomorrow, how he feels tomorrow.”

Center Alex Mack (shoulder) practiced for the first time this week and worked with the first team in the half-hour open to the media. Mangini expects him to make his 21st straight start Sunday.

Defensive linemen Robaire Smith (back) and Kenyon Coleman (knee) and special teamer Nick Sorensen (calf) returned to practice. Offensive lineman John St. Clair (ankle) missed his second straight week of practice and isn’t expected to play.

FOLLOW SCOTT PETRAK ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.