BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt has stayed out of team drills during practice the past two days in protest because he’s asking the team for a long-term contract extension. But Sunday, he returned to practice.

“We are working, there is no distraction,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said on the practice field. “I understand there are things that happen that certainly get attention, and that’s OK. … This is normal. This is NFL football, as far as I know.”

Stefanski declined to answer questions specifically about Hunt, just as he has about the status of Watson, the starting quarterback who is waiting to see how long he will be suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Hunt is in the final year of a two-year, $12 million deal he signed two years ago. If the Cleveland-area native is on the active roster for all 17 games, he will earn $6.25 million this season. The 27-year-old has been productive during his three seasons for Cleveland, but he missed nine games last season with calf and ankle injuries.

Hunt’s situation adds more drama for the Browns, who are waiting to see how long quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Stefanski said he wouldn’t address whether Hunt was penalized for sitting out part of camp.

“I am not going to get into anything that has to do with our players, conversations that I have with our players, and those types of things,” he added. “If our players are healthy, they practice.”

There’s no doubt the Browns value Hunt — who led the league in rushing as a rookie for Kansas City in 2017 — but he wasn’t healthy a year ago and the team has better depth now at that position.

The Browns signed Hunt, who is from the Cleveland area, as a free agent in 2019. He came with his own baggage: suspended by the league for the first eight games of 2019 for off-field behavior, which included him shoving and kicking a woman while he played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Running ferociously every time he touched the ball, Hunt rushed for 841 yards in 2020 and added 304 yards receiving. He led the team with 11 touchdowns and was a perfect complementary piece for Pro Bowl back Nick Chubb.

There’s been speculation about Hunt’s future because the Browns have Chubb (1,259 yards in 2021) as their primary back and another solid backup in D’Ernest Johnson, who had 534 yards while filling in last season.

Cleveland also drafted Jerome Ford in the fifth round from Cincinnati.