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Old 09-19-2006, 11:47 PM   #1
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Default Browns CB McCutcheon out for season with knee injury

CLEVELAND -- Browns cornerback Daylon McCutcheon will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, another blow to Cleveland's depth and leadership and more bad news for its banged-up secondary.

The 33-year-old McCutcheon returned to practice last week for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right knee in July. However, he hasn't shown enough progress and the Browns had little choice but to place him on injured reserve Tuesday.

The club also signed rookie nose tackle Babatunde Oshinowo from the practice squad to the active roster, and signed wide receiver Kendrick Mosley to the practice squad.

A third-round pick by the expansion Browns in 1999, McCutcheon has been one of Cleveland's steadiest players. He and kicker Phil Dawson are the only players remaining from the '99 squad.

McCutcheon was battling Leigh Bodden for a starting job in training camp when his knee began bothering him. He had arthroscopic surgery on Aug. 2 and was expected to be back for the regular season, but McCutcheon's knee didn't respond the way he hoped.

He missed Cleveland's opener against New Orleans, and after he participated in practice last week, there was hope he would play in Sunday's game at Cincinnati. But he wasn't ready and was among the club's inactives.

The loss of McCutcheon couldn't come at a worse time for the Browns (0-2).

Cornerback Gary Baxter is playing with a partially torn chest muscle that has limited his ability to tackle. On Sunday, Baxter had a tough time handling Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry, who finished with five catches for 113 yards.

Baxter underwent an MRI on Monday and said it "might be the best thing" for him to sit out and rest until he's 100 percent. The club has not yet announced test results for Baxter, who missed 10 games last season with a similar injury.

Before the season, the Browns envisioned using either McCutcheon or Bodden as their nickel back. But injuries wrecked those plans and the club had to sign veteran Ralph Brown, who has been picked on by opposing quarterbacks the past two weeks.

McCutcheon, who has made 96 career starts for Cleveland, signed a five-year contract extension with the Browns before the 2004 season. This offseason, McCutcheon graduated from the University of Southern California, fulfilling a promise he made to his mother that he would finish school.

He missed all of training camp in 2005 with migraine headaches, but started all 16 games last season.

Oshinowo, a sixth-round pick this year, was waived last month before being signed to the practice squad. Mosley was one of the club's final roster cuts at the end of training camp. He spent four weeks on Cleveland's practice squad last year.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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