- Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Why watch: With most of the Browns starters and bigger names not playing -- including Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel -- this game is for those fighting for a roster spot. The game matters to fourth-round pick Vince Mayle, who has not had a good preseason or camp. It matters for receiver Terrelle Pryor, the former quarterback who has not stepped foot on the field during a game or scrimmage in preseason. Despite that, Pryor’s chances of making the team seem greater than Mayle’s. Others of interest to watch Thursday tonight: Nose tackle Jamie Meder, whose aggressive play was part of the reason the team let Phil Taylor go, as well as defensive lineman Dylan Wynn, tight ends E.J. Bibbs and Rob Housler, and cornerback Charles Gaines. All are fighting to make the 53.
Did you know: The fourth game clearly matters to Mike Pettine. One year ago in the preseason finale against Chicago, Isaiah Crowell ran for 102 yards on 13 carries, including a 48-yard touchdown. To that point, Crowell had gotten little playing time. But he did so well that Pettine admitted the Browns knew they could not sneak him on the practice squad and kept him on the roster. Crowell went on to have an impressive rookie season, with 607 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. He is living proof that the fourth game matters.