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Ouch...Browns are a hurtin'

Injuries are mounting

By RAY ROBINSON | 8/17/2013, 9:29 a.m.
It was the perfect situation for Lewis to shine. But instead of taking snaps, Lewis' leg snapped.

The Cleveland Browns are hurting in the running back department.

During Thursday's win over the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium, several key members of the squad were lost to one kind of injury or another. Unfortunalely, it seems to be catching on with players going down seemingly every day.

One injury that is sure to hurt the team is the loss of running back, Dion Lewis. Lewis fractured his left tibula, which basically amounts to his leg being broken, during the 24-6 win in which he was being featured and was doing rather well.

Now, he too is counted among the broken, battered and injured Brownies who will be missing valuable preseason playing time.

Lewis had a fabulous game against the Rams in preseason game 1 and was set to get a few more snaps against the Lions this week due to running back Montario Hardesty's absence. It was the perfect situation for Lewis to shine. But instead of taking snaps, Lewis' leg snapped.

Still, he was able to pile up 33 yards on 5 carries for an average of 6.6 yards per carry. His longest carry was a 31-yarder that allowed the smallish back to light his rocket boosters to the delight of Browns fans at the game and also those who were at home watching on television.

Instead, he is now just another wobbling wounded soldier. Sources say that the Browns are not sure if Lewis will miss the entire season, or will make a return to the gridiron off of the injured reserve list. If he does end up on the IR, he could rejoin the team in eight weeks. Lewis was expected to be the backup to starter Trent Richardson in the Browns' backfield.

Montario Hardesty is catching hell too. The third-year back just can't seem to stay healthy long enough for the team to fully evaluate his skills and his

talent level. The fans are running out of patience and sooner of later team management has to make a decision on whether he has any value to the team and whether he will ever be a contributor.

The good thing is that when the back is on the field, he is an exciting runner who can change the course of a game. The team really likes the young man and will do all that they can to prepare him, both physically and mentally.

Hardesty is a hard runner with exceptional skills, but, he must be in the game for any of it to matter.

It has been overheard that people feel he is injury prone since his health problems have robbed him of precious playing time ever since his college days. Both of his knees have been operated on and he just had arthoscopic surgery done on his left knee on yesterday. He is expected to miss about 2-3 weeks.

He missed his entire rookie season in 2010 after suffering a torn ACL in the final preseason game and never got a chance to showcase his wares. He missed most of last season too due to a torn calf muscle.

So, without Lewis and Hardesty in the lineup, Halfback Trent Richardson will have to carry the bulk of the work load. The injury to Lewis leaves the Browns scratching their heads and trying to weigh their options. Luckily, there are a few free-agent running backs out that could put their finger in the Browns' leaky dyke.

The Browns also loss rookie linebacker, Barkevious Mingo (bruised lung), starting right guard, Jason Pinkston ( sprained ankle) and kicker Brandon Bogotay (groin) to injury.

Mingo was the 6th overall pick in this year's draft.