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Browns' hopes for Terrelle Pryor project off final two preseason games

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Some of Terrelle Pryor's teammates say that he's displayed enough to make the Browns as a receiver. AP Photo/Tony Dejak

It appears likely that Terrelle Pryor will at last be on the field Saturday night at Tampa Bay in the Cleveland Browns' third preseason game.

Pryor has missed the intrasquad scrimmage and two games due to a bum hamstring, and on Thursday Pryor sounded down about his situation for the first time since camp started.

Pryor tried to be his usual confident self, but just didn’t pull it off. He talked a bit in circles, saying the injury had hurt his love for the game and taken him away from his 1-year-old son (who lives in Pittsburgh) because he had to stay on off days for treatment.

He talked about coming back too soon for the Bills practices, and though he said he wasn’t discouraged he sure sounded that way.

"My competitive spirit's at an all-time high,” Pryor said. “I see [my teammates] coming in, sweating. They have to get in the cool tub because they're tired. I've got to be in the cool tub because I'm hurt.”

Pryor’s teammates aren’t shy about predicting big things for him.

Dwayne Bowe said he’d seen enough of Pryor at receiver before he got hurt, that he should make the team. That statement was based on less than a week of practice, three days without pads.

Joe Haden said the decision on making the team was above his title (not his pay grade, Haden noted), but compared Pryor physically to Calvin Johnson.

All this for a guy who was a quarterback until two months ago and is trying to make the team at a new position during training camp.

It’d be like a violinist in an orchestra deciding to play the trumpet because he knows music.

“Our expectations weren’t real high for him by the end of training camp to be a viable player at wideout,” coach Mike Pettine said. “We understand it’s a process.”

The thing is, the Browns' offense is so devoid of playmakers that Pryor’s return for the third game means something. Just as it means something to finally get Bowe and rookie running back Duke Johnson on the field. Pryor has two games to prove himself at a new position.

The Browns had hoped to get a better and longer look at him.

“It is a projection,” Pettine said, “and the projection is we have less information to make that projection based on how training camp went for him.”