Star Browns rookie has broken fibula
Winslow broke his fibula -- a bone in his lower leg -- trying to recover an onside kick late in Sunday's 19-12 loss at Dallas.
The first-round draft pick will have surgery Tuesday and might need screws and plates inserted in the leg, Browns trainer Mike Colello said Monday.
The team expects Winslow to make a full recovery in eight to 10 weeks, but coach Butch Davis said the team has considered placing him on injured reserve.
Another injured tight end, Steve Heiden, is expected to return to practice this week.
In addition, the Browns are bracing for possibly bad news on defensive end Courtney Brown, who suffered a mid-foot sprain -- the latest injury for the former No. 1 overall draft pick.
Colello, who joined Davis at his weekly news conference because of the "unusual circumstances" after Sunday's loss, said the team was awaiting word on Brown from a foot and ankle specialist.
The former Penn State star has had a promising NFL career spoiled by injuries. Brown missed the ends of the past two seasons with injuries and sat out 11 games in 2001 after hurting his right knee and left ankle.
The Browns had four other starters hurt Sunday.
Davis defended himself against criticism that Winslow shouldn't have been on the field during such a risky play.
"That would be tantamount to quitting," he said. "You're putting the best people you have out there."
After a long training camp holdout and often contentious negotiations with the Browns, Winslow signed a six-year contract that could be worth $40 million.
Early reviews were overwhelmingly positive for the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder, who was expected to be a major contributor to the Browns' offense and special teams this season.
The No. 6 overall pick, Winslow had four catches for 39 yards in the season-opening win over Baltimore. And although he had just one reception for 11 yards against Dallas, Winslow was open several times but quarterback Jeff Garcia either didn't see him or overthrew the former University of Miami star.
With both Winslow and Heiden hurt, Davis said the Browns have considered re-signing Chad Mustard, who played in 10 games last season and was in camp with Cleveland this summer but was released before Week 1.
Mustard, who had four catches for 29 yards in 2003, was in the Browns' locker room Monday.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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