BEREA - The Browns' defensive line could get much better in the next couple of weeks.
Ahtyba Rubin, who missed last Sunday's game against the Bengals with a calf injury, should be back. In addition, tackle Phil Taylor, who's been on the physically-unable-to-perform list while recovering from a pectoral injury, could return as soon as this week.
PUP players are eligible to return after the sixth game. Once they start practicing, teams then have a three-week window to either activate them or put them on season-ending injured reserve.
Taylor said last week that he's almost fully healed from the surgery he underwent last May. It's now a matter of getting back into playing shape.
"He's absolutely where we thought he'd be at this point," coach Pat Shurmur said. "We're going to get him going soon."
Rookies Billy Winn and John Hughes started at the tackle spots against the Bengals.
WORST EVER: When quarterback Brandon Weeden was drafted he said that the wind in Cleveland couldn't be as bad as what he faced on the prairies of the Midwest during his college days at Oklahoma State. He changed his mind after last Sunday's game.
"Yesterday (Sunday) was probably the worst I've played in," Weeden said. "I played in Lubbock last year. It was worse, but it didn't swirl as much as it did yesterday. The stadium is a little bigger and it kind of swirls around the stadium, whereas in Lubbock it was straight into and down wind."
INJURY UPDATE: Running back Trent Richardson's injury is to a cartilage in the area of the right rib cage. Shurmur said that Richardson feels fine and will likely be available against the Colts.
CONGRATULATORY TEXT: Shurmur said that former owner Randy Lerner sent him a text message to congratulate him on the win. Lerner has kept his distance from the team since a deal to sell the franchise to James Haslam III was announced in late July.
MAKING STRIDES: Rookie receiver Josh Gordon has improved dramatically since his playing time increased the last two games. It's a simple case of a rookie starting to get it.
"Two games ago he played well and made plays and was productive," Shurmur said. "Once you do it once, you want to see consistency. Here's a young man that didn't have an offseason, so you're starting to see a certain amount of work starting to take shape. In my opinion the light is coming on."
The Browns selected Gordon in a supplemental draft in June. As a consequence he didn't have the benefit of participating in offseason practices.
BIG IMPACT: The return of cornerback Joe Haden from a four-game suspension had a rippling effect throughout the secondary.
"There was a little more synergy in the secondary with Joe being back and, of course, Sheldon (Brown) and Buster (Skrine) showed up as well," Shurmur said.
GOOD EFFORT: Shurmur was pleased with the play of the offensive line. The ground game averaged just 3.2 yards per rush, but Weeden was given solid protection.
"For the most part I thought they did a nice job in pass protection," Shurmur said. "Run blocking is steady as she goes. We're getting better there. That unit by the end will be a strength of our team."