Like numerous perceived starters, Jamal Lewis was in uniform but did not play. With Jerome Harrison also missing action for the third straight game, rookie James Davis again demonstrated his quickness through the line and fast acceleration.
Davis was the catalyst to a 73-yard TD drive QB Brett Ratliff engineered on the Browns' second series. Davis had runs of 21, 9 and 5 yards on successive carries in the middle of the drive, setting up a 7-yard scoring pass to rookie WR Mohamed Massaquoi.
Davis was pulled after the TD and got pats on the shoulder pads for a job well done. He rushed for 37 yards on five attempts - a 7.4-yard average. Talk about consistency. Davis finished his first preseason as the team's leading ground gainer - 186 yards on 24 carries for a 7.8 average.
What once appeared highly improbable has suddenly become a possibility: Mangini could be contemplating playing the sixth-round draft choice ahead of Lewis.
Mangini tempered Davis' big preseason rushing average.
"I'm happy that he did it," Mangini said. "I think the level of competition increases dramatically as we go into next week. There's been a lot of backs over time that have had significant averages in preseason and didn't quite translate [in the regular season]. I've enjoyed seeing him take advantage of the opportunity. It's always better to finish with an 8-yard average than the alternative."