Baxter recovering nicely, hopes to play Sept. 9 in Browns season opener
While LeCharles Bentley’s status remains murky, the Browns’ other patellar tendon patient continues to work ahead of the curve in his recovery.
“You’ve been watching me move around, right?’’ Baxter said with a big grin after he did individual drills in Sunday’s practice. “Everything’s coming along good.’’
Baxter is recovering from surgery to repair ruptured patellar tendons in each knee. Early medical advice was for him to forget about football.
He ignored it and now wants to be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Steelers.
“Every day I’m getting closer to making that happen,’’ Baxter said.
Baxter isn’t wearing braces and seems to be running and changing directions sharply.
“Baxter is making good progress,’’ Head Coach Romeo Crennel said. “Watching him when he first went out there, I thought he was a little cautious in his movement, but now as he gains more confidence, you see his reactions are stronger.
“We’re beginning to let him do more. First we only let him do individual drills. Now we’re letting him do special teams, so you can see his progress and see his confidence grow.”
When will Baxter — intended to be a No. 1 cornerback when he signed in 2005 — be ready for 11-on-11 drills?
“Soon,’’ he said, smiling again. “Soon.
“I’m not so much anxious about that. I’m anxious to get out there and just play.’’
Rocket-armed Derek Anderson continues to look choppy on touch passes. Two such passes resulted in interceptions by Daven Holly.
First, Anderson fired a short fastball that bounced off tight end Steve Heiden’s hands, to Holly. Then, Anderson took something off a short pass on which Holly made a quick break for an easy pick.
Not long after that, Anderson did what he does best, sailing a deep ball down the right sideline and into the hands of Travis Wilson, who beat rookie Eric Wright.
Coming off that shaky segment, Charlie Frye took a not-so-hot turn at quarterback.
Frye threw a mid-range sideline pass a mile behind Braylon Edwards, the only question being who was at fault for a miscommunication. Soon after that, Frye threw a ball so far over undersized Syndric Steptoe’s head that Zydrunas Ilgauskas couldn’t have touched it.
Frye showed good touch on a couple of short throws. He barely missed a long sideline completion to 6-foot-5 Joe Jurevicius, who couldn’t come up with the jump ball and left skid marks on the Field Turf after landing on his knees.
Crennel said he isn’t ready to name a starter for Saturday’s preseason opener against the Chiefs.
Still on Hold
Regarding the effect of Brady Quinn’s holdout on training camp, Phil Savage said Thursday, “There’s 80-plus players here. I don’t think they’re giving a second thought. By and large the ship has set sail.’’
By Sunday, the ship had time enough to tour the Great Lakes without Quinn, whose holdout extended through a 10th day and a 13th practice.
“Nothing has changed, as far as I know,’’ Crennel said after Sunday’s practice. “I’m not worried about it. I’ve got to worry about the guys who are here.’’
Reach Canton Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.