Medically cleared, RB might debut Sunday

Originally Published: September 28, 2004
Associated Press

Cleveland Browns: Running back Lee Suggs, inactive for Cleveland's first three games with a neck stinger, has been granted medical clearance to practice at full speed this week.

As long as there are no setbacks, the speedy second-year back from Virginia Tech expects to make his season debut Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

"I hope so," Suggs said.

So do the Browns (1-2), who are coming off a 27-10 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. Cleveland's offense has struggled because of inconsistency and injuries, and Suggs thinks he can provide a much-needed spark.

"We need something in there," Suggs said. "Except for a few times in the second half [against New York], the offense really wasn't clicking."

Suggs was injured during practice a few days before the Browns' final preseason game. The team expected Suggs to return much sooner, but he hasn't had enough strength to satisfy team doctors that he should be allowed to play.

"I don't think you could be too cautious," he said. "I don't want to grow old and be unable to use my left arm. I have to trust the doctors. They know what they're doing a whole lot more than I do."

Chicago Bears: Former Cowboys quarterback Chad Hutchinson was signed to a two-year contract as insurance after Rex Grossman was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Hutchinson passed a physical Tuesday and will begin practice Wednesday. A former St. Louis Cardinals baseball prospect, the 6-foot-5 Hutchinson started nine games as a rookie with Dallas in 2002.

Jonathan Quinn will start Sunday against the unbeaten Eagles at Soldier Field after the loss of Grossman, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday's loss at Minnesota.

Grossman, who started the first three games this season and the final three a year ago, was officially placed on injured reserve Tuesday. After surgery, he will need seven to 10 months of rehab.

Detroit Lions: The Lions placed cornerback Rod Babers on injured reserve Tuesday because of a collarbone injury.

Babers, signed from the practice squad Sept. 18, hurt his collarbone in Sunday's 30-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

In another move, the Lions signed fullback Stephen Trejo.

Trejo, who spent the past three seasons with Detroit, rejoins the team after being cut during the preseason. He signed with St. Louis Sept. 9 and was released Sept. 22.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press