BROWNS After healthy start, injury bug arrives

Kellen Winslow Jr. will start after an injury to Steve Heiden.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Browns aren't having such an injury-free preseason after all.
Less than two weeks after ending training camp with a relatively healthy roster, the Browns placed four players on injured reserve Monday, including linebacker Brant Boyer and offensive lineman Chad Beasley.
The Browns also will be without starting tight end Steve Heiden for two to four weeks after he sprained his knee Saturday against Kansas City.
Heiden's injury thrusts rookie Kellen Winslow Jr. into the starting role even though he isn't quite ready following his 12-day holdout during training camp.
The loss of Boyer leaves the Browns without one of their top special teams players. He's also one of the team's few veteran linebackers.
"His experience is invaluable to us because he's played 10 years," linebacker Kevin Bentley said.
Boyer broke a bone in his right foot during a practice Aug. 6 with the Buffalo Bills. He had surgery and said recently that he hoped to return by the third game of the season. He was not available to comment Monday at the Browns' training complex in Berea.
The Browns' medical staff estimated Boyer wouldn't be able to practice until after the seventh game of the season, coach Butch Davis said. X-rays did not show significant healing in the bone.
Lack of depth
While neither Boyer nor Beasley were starters, their losses lessen the team's depth -- an issue that hurt the Browns last season as they placed 13 players on injured reserve.
Beasley, who lost the starting left guard job early in training camp, injured his ankle Saturday.
The Browns also placed fullback Ben Miller (ankle) and defensive back Michael Grant (knee) on injured reserve.
The team put defensive lineman Antonio Garay (knee), tight end Keith Heinrich (ankle) and defensive back Sean Jones (knee) on the physically unable to perform list. Running back Adimchinobe Echemandu (ankle) was put on the reserve-non-football injury list.
The four players will be eligible to return to the active roster after the sixth week of the regular season.
Jones was Cleveland's second-round draft pick out of Georgia and was expected to help the team immediately at the safety position, but tore a ligament in his left knee in June.
He's pleased to still have the possibility of returning to play this season.

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