|Browns delay Bentley's return to practice 6 more weeks|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 28 August 2007 12:40|
Cleveland placed Bentley on the physically unable to perform list to give his surgically repaired knee more time to heal.
Bentley has yet to practice, but hasn't given up on playing this season and had hoped to begin practicing with the team by the end of August.
``He's disappointed, but because we sat down and we talked about it - he's been in my office every week - he appreciates my concern,'' coach Romeo Crennel said. ``I've told him all along I want the best for him.''
By placing Bentley on the PUP list, he will be permitted to attend team meetings and continue his rehabilitation at the team's facility. After six weeks on the PUP list, the Browns will have three weeks to allow Bentley to begin practicing.
If Bentley begins practicing, the Browns have three weeks to make a decision on his roster status - they can add him to the 53-man roster, place him on injured reserve or leave him on the PUP list for the rest of the season.
``During that window in October, we can get him out on the field and see where he's at,'' Crennel said.
A two-time Pro Bowl selection with New Orleans, Bentley signed a six-year, $36 million contract in March 2006 to join his hometown team, then tore his left patellar tendon on the first full-contact play of Cleveland's training camp last summer.
Following surgery to repair the tendon, a staph infection attacked the knee and Bentley needed three more surgeries. Bentley has said that doctors considered amputating his leg at one point.
He was cleared to return to the playing field in July by Russell Warren, the New York Giants' team doctor who performed two of Bentley's operations.
The Browns gave Bentley an MRI exam when he reported for training camp and decided he should continue his personal rehab for another four weeks. He's been working out away from the Browns' facilities but attending meetings.
Baxter, who is attempting an unprecedented comeback after tearing both patellar tendons on the same play last October, lashed out Tuesday at media reports saying he had a setback when he wasn't at practice last week.
``I didn't come out for those couple days. What's that mean? Was that a setback?'' he said. ``You guys ain't wrote nothing positive about anything that I've done.''
The Browns are in a bind with Baxter, who has not played in a preseason game. They removed Baxter from the PUP list at the start of training camp and by Saturday must put him on the active roster, place him on injured reserve or cut him.
Baxter was initially told by medical experts that he might have permanent damage and could have trouble walking. Now, his goal is to play Sept. 9 against Pittsburgh.
``I'm doing everything I can to get there,'' he said. ``I'll tell you what, I've beat all the odds that people said I wouldn't be where I'm at today.''
The Browns should have left guard Eric Steinbach, their biggest free-agent signing during the offseason, back for the season opener after spraining his right knee when he fell on it at practice earlier this month.
Steinbach said Tuesday that he expects to be ready even though he won't play against Chicago on Thursday and will have missed all four preseason games. He hopes to get some practice time next week.
``You can't just get thrown back in there and expect to be at the form you were at before an injury,'' Steinbach said. ``That's why it's important to come out and do some drill work and get the timing back.''