Browns without Lewis, Dawson

Updated: September 26, 2009, 8:46 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- The task was ominous enough. Now, the winless Cleveland Browns will have to face the Baltimore Ravens without two of their best offensive weapons.

Running back Jamal Lewis and kicker Phil Dawson will both miss Sunday's game with injuries.

Lewis, a 10,000-yard career rusher, is out with a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice all week and the steady Dawson, who has had some of his best games against Baltimore, is sidelined with an injured right calf.

On top of that, the Browns will also be without offensive linemen Floyd Womack (ankle) and Rex Hadnot (knee).

The Browns (0-2) have been held to just 26 points in their first two games, and Dawson has scored 14 of them.

To replace Dawson, Cleveland signed kicker Billy Cundiff, who spent four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and one in New Orleans. He was released by Detroit on Sept. 5.

Cundiff was one of five kickers the Browns worked out on Friday, when Dawson was added to the injury report.

In 58 career regular-season games, Cundiff has made 60 of 83 field goal attempts and 100 of 101 PATs.

Dawson has made 24 of 26 field goals in 19 career games against Baltimore. Two years ago, he kicked a 33-yarder in overtime to give the Browns a 33-30 overtime win in Baltimore. Dawson had forced OT by kicking a 51-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.

Lewis had hoped to be able to face his former Ravens teammates again, but he injured his hamstring last week in Denver and was ruled out despite a week of treatment and rest. Lewis leads the Browns with 95 rushing yards.

With Lewis out, the Browns will turn to rookie running back James Davis and Jerome Harrison against the Ravens, who have the NFL's top run defense. Davis missed last week's game with a shoulder injury and Harrison was out of the season opener against Minnesota.

Although Lewis can't play, coach Eric Mangini feels the veteran back's knowledge of Baltimore's personnel can help Davis and Harrison, who have combined for just 13 yards on seven carries this season.

Hank Fraley will start in Womack's place at right guard. Fraley, a former center, came in last week in Denver after Womack was hurt.

The Browns also waived running back Cedric Peerman.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press