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Cleveland Browns plagued by injuries to key players

‘#160;

BEREA, Ohio – Already down a wide receiver indefinitely, the Cleveland Browns will be without one of their running backs for a month or more.

Lee Suggs, a breakaway back whose brief NFL career has been slowed by assorted injuries, broke his right thumb during Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears and will be out at least four weeks.

The injury is the latest setback for the unlucky Suggs, who challenged to be Cleveland’s No. 1 back during training camp before spraining his ankle.

On Monday, Suggs, who was on the field for only three plays but didn’t touch the ball during the Browns’ 20-10 comeback victory, had two screws surgically inserted into his thumb at the Cleveland Clinic.

During his weekly news conference Monday, Browns coach Romeo Crennel said, “Lee’#39;s OK,” when asked about Suggs’ condition.

Meanwhile, the Browns said rookie wide receiver Braylon Edwards will remain at the Clinic for at least another day following surgery to remove an unknown infection near his right elbow.

Edwards continues to receive antibiotics for the infection, which has yet to be identified by doctors, the Browns said. The first-round pick has been hospitalized since Saturday, when he had an operation to clean out the infection that caused his arm to swell significantly.

Edwards will likely miss Sunday’s game at Baltimore and could miss several more weeks, depending on the severity of the infection.

In 2003, Browns linebacker Ben Taylor was hospitalized for a week with a staph infection that developed in a tiny scratch on his arm. Taylor lost 10 pounds while he was sick, lost his starting job and spent the rest of the season on special teams.

Taylor said he can relate to Edwards’ predicament, and dismissed early reports that Edwards was suffering from an infected hair.

“Believe me,” he said. “It’s a lot more serious than what they made it out to be.”

Suggs missed his first nine games as a rookie with a shoulder injury he sustained at Virginia Tech. In his final game of 2003, Suggs rushed for a career-high 186 yards and two touchdowns at Cincinnati, a stunning performance that gave the Browns high hopes Suggs could become their feature back.

However, a neck injury sidelined Suggs for the first three weeks of 2004, and he missed three more games later that season with an injured toe.

Suggs was locked in a three-way fight with Reuben Droughns and William Green to be Cleveland’s starter this summer when he rolled his ankle during a practice and missed the Browns’ first two games this season. Droughns has since taken over the job.

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