CLEVELAND (AP) — Two weeks into the season and the Browns are badly bruised.
As they await tests on quarterback Josh McCown’s battered left shoulder, Cleveland is dealing with other major injuries to key players.
Starting center Cam Erving sustained a bruised lung and is expected to miss several games, and promising rookie defensive end Carl Nassib broke his hand in Sunday’s 25-20 loss to Baltimore and may need surgery.
Erving left the field in the final minute complaining of cramps and discomfort in his chest and ribs. He was immobilized and taken to University Hospitals, where tests revealed the pulmonary contusion. The team said he will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis but a similar injury to former Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo sidelined him for a month.
Nassib, the high-motored lineman who led the nation in sacks last year at Penn State, got hurt in the third quarter and didn’t return. The third-round pick has been one of the early positives for the Browns, who have 17 rookies on their roster.
McCown’s injury could make Cleveland’s rebuilding project even tougher. The 37-year-old was injured in the first quarter but didn’t come out. He became emotional in his postgame news conference while addressing his reasons for not leaving the game. McCown’s two sons, who are both playing quarterback in middle school, attended the game.
McCown was playing because starter Robert Griffin III broke a bone in his left shoulder in the opener and will miss a minimum of eight games — and maybe more.
Rookie Cody Kessler is next on the depth chart, but the Browns could look outside for a veteran QB. Kessler twice warmed up during Sunday’s game, but McCown bravely stayed on the field despite taking several hard hits.
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