Browns suspend Winslow one game over critical comments
Winslow has a team-high 21 receptions for 187 yards and one touchdown this season. His case of staph was the sixth known infection with the Browns in the past few seasons. "I spoke out on this because I felt it was the right thing to do and that is why I was so passionate about it," Winslow said in a statement. "This has nothing to do with football and this has nothing to with my current contract situation. This is a health concern." Winslow has three years remaining on his deal, which was reworked in 2006. He's making $4 million this season and has base salaries of $4.5 million in 2009 and $4.75 million in 2010.
Savage said the players have been educated on the risks of staph, and that during training camp the entire team took part in an extensive presentation by infectious disease experts.
"Kellen was in attendance at that meeting," Savage said. "Since that meeting, not one player has approached me, Romeo Crennel, or our medical staff with concerns as to how we have dealt with this issue."
On Monday, Crennel said he was disappointed by Winslow's decision to take his problems to the media and said he would consult with Savage before levying any punishment.Savage defended the Browns' handling of Winslow's hospital stay. "The Cleveland Browns are committed to winning and taking care of our players," he said. "We are also committed to protecting the privacy of our players, particularly with regard to medical issues. To that end, following discussions with Kellen Winslow and his representation, the Browns agreed to make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of his recent medical condition." Despite the brief saga with the Browns, Winslow said he is still on board with trying to make the team the best it can be. "Please understand I care deeply for my organization, my teammates, and the Browns fans. At no time was I ever trying to cause distress for the team or be a distraction but the fact remains there is a health issue that needs to be addressed further," Winslow said. "I hope to be a Brown for a very long time. I know that the organization and I can move forward and focus on having a successful season, which I believe everybody agrees upon." James Walker covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.