Second-year wide receiver Braylon Edwards, the Cleveland Browns' first-round choice in the 2005 draft who was expected to provide a big-play dimension to the offense, was placed on the NFL's physically unable to perform list (PUP) as the team began training camp on Wednesday.
The move, which means that Edwards cannot practice until he passes a physical examination, was hardly unexpected. Edwards underwent surgery in early January to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and, while he has made steady progress, hasn't had nearly enough time to rehabilitate yet.
Edwards was joined on the active PUP list by rookie cornerback DeMario Minter, a fifth-round draft pick from the University of Georgia. Minter, who recently signed a four-year, $1.78 million contract, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last month. On a crowded cornerback depth chart, Minter was counted on by the Browns to contribute principally on special teams in 2006.
On the plus side, the Browns began camp with tight end Kellen Winslow ready to participate in virtually all the drills after two star-crossed seasons.
The team's first-round selection in the 2004 draft, Winslow appeared in only two games as a rookie, his debut season ending prematurely when he suffered a broken right leg when attempting to recover an onside kick in a loss at Dallas. Winslow missed the entire 2005 season when he suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament and internal injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident last spring.
According to reports, Winslow performed well in spring minicamps and might finally be ready to fulfill his promise as one of the NFL's top tight end prospects in several years. Browns officials will closely monitor Winslow and could hold him out of some practices if they sense any setbacks, but privately the Cleveland brass anticipates that the former University of Miami star will be ready to begin the season.
There is still no definitive timetable for Edwards' potential return, given that his knee injury occurred late in the season and that surgery took place less than seven months ago. General manager Phil Savage told ESPN.com in May that the Browns didn't anticipate Edwards being able to play until late September or early October.
It is unlikely that the Browns would place Edwards on the inactive PUP list, which would, by definition, sideline him for at least the first six weeks of the season.
In only 10 games in 2005, Edwards, the third overall selection in last year's draft, had 32 receptions for 512 yards and three touchdowns. He started seven games and was just beginning to flash the big-play skills on which Cleveland was counting when he suffered the knee injury.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.