When he said that Earl may "eventually" end up pushing Brown, that could mean toward the end of the season.
I would be pleasantly surprised if Earl plays at all this season.
Tony Hollings was able to start training camp but he was never at full speed last year, even though his injury occurred early in his last year of college. And even that was considered an exceptionally speedy recovery.
Earl's injury was toward the end of the season. If you add a couple of months to Hollings' recovery schedule to correspond to when Earl's injury occurred you have Earl returning a month into the season, about the time a decision has to be made whether to put him on the roster and cut someone or keep him on injured reserve. At that point, Earl still wouldn't be at full speed. And all that is contigent on Earl having the same speedy recovery Hollings had.
My bet is Earl stays on the injured list all year.