A half-hour after practice Willis McGahee walked into the Browns locker room still shivering from a 15-minute session in the cold tub.

“These old bones aren’t 21 anymore” he said grabbing his shoulders with both hands.

Monday is normally a “spa day” in the NFL. But when you have a Thursday game there is no time for your body to recover. Monday is jammed with game review game plan preview and a light practice.

The turnaround from a Sunday game to a Thursday game is a challenge even for a young healthy player. For a 31-year-old running back with three rebuilt ligaments in one knee and one healed ligament in the other it is a brutal part of the job.

“Being a running back you’re hit on every play” McGahee said after Monday’s practice. “You’re gonna have more bumps and bruises than the norm. It’s a quick turnaround. The body’s used to resting after a Sunday. But we had to get out there. At the end of the day you have to be a professional.”

McGahee didn’t play in a game for 10 months and now has played in two in the span of 10 days since joining the Browns as Trent Richardson’s replacement.

As McGahee prepares for his third game Thursday against the Buffalo Bills – the team that drafted him in the first round in 2003 knowing he would miss that entire year because of a devastating knee injury in his last college game – it is obvious that he will be an integral player with the Browns.

“The leadership he’s bringing and the attitude he’s bringing to the offense and to our team I think has really helped our guys” said coach Rob Chudzinski.

Nobody on the team knows McGahee better than Chudzinski who was his offensive coordinator at University of Miami more than 10 years ago.