BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns have retained 15 replacement players, the team announced Monday.
The Browns' roster stands at 62, including the 45 players from the regular team plus two who were activated off injured reserve during the walkout. The players kept were offensive tackles Keith Bosley and Darryl Haley; running backs George Swarn, Major Everett and Larry Mason; wide receiver Perry Kemp; tight end Derek Tennell; defensive ends Alex Carter and Darryl Sims; linebackers Tim Crawford, David Grayson, Cliff Hanneman and Nick Miller; defensive back Billy Robinson and nose tackle Mike Rusinek.
'I had hoped to get out of here with a Cleveland Browns sweatsuit,' said Rusinek, a 6-foot-3 product of California. 'Now, I'm getting a chance at keeping the uniform. It's a great opportunity, and I'm grateful.'
However, Coach Marty Schottenheimer said it was 'not very likely' any of the holdovers would play Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams.
'These are players who might well be contributing players to our football team,' he said. 'On that basis, they were selected. They'll be able to work with us and practice, and might well reach the point of efficiency where they can help us win.'
A team may dress only 45 players for any given game, with the remainder placed on a weekly inactive list. The Browns must declare their roster for next Monday night's home game against the Los Angeles Rams by 4 p.m. that day.
Schottenheimer met with all the substitute players Monday morning at Baldwin-Wallace College.
'I sensed the majority of them were gratified for the opportunity and the experience,' he said. 'I had one player say he didn't think he got a good enough look. It all depends on your perspective.'
Schottenheimer says he does not expect any animosity from the regular players toward the retained substitutes, and added he felt a certain amount of 'affection and respect' for the latter group.
'I think our regulars know our philosophy. I think these (replacements) can help us reach our goal, which is to win,' the coach said. 'The lines of communication are good. The players in this organization understand.'
Linebacker Mike Junkin, the Browns' first-round draft pick, said the regular players 'want to continue the spirit of winning.'
'For me, well, I just want to continue progressing,' he said. 'The strike delayed that, so I have work to do. The players who played in the replacement games won two of three, and we're happy that happened.'
Schottenheimer said the previous week, in which strikebreaking players created some dissension, 'was not fun.'
'We've all gone through a time that's been difficult,' he said. 'There were pluses and minuses. As a whole, there is a decided and dramatic difference between the players who were here the last 3 1-2 weeks and the returning regulars. We just have to concentrate on getting ready for the Rams.'