Not again! is what every Browns fan yelled when they heard the news... including myself. As if having every possible form of heartbreak happen in every sport wasn't enough, it seems that we are almost getting spared the pain early this year. The Browns managed to have a great off-season, grabbing a number of good free agents including the most coveted man on the market: LeCharles Bentley, the Saints' Pro Bowl center. In today's 11-on-11 drills - the very first of the season - Bentley went down:
"No!!!" he yelled, clutching his knee.
Stretched out on a flatbed cart, LeCharles Bentley covered his face with a towel to hide his disappointment and tears. This wasn't the homecoming he had planned.Aside from being a huge lifelong fan, I'm also an investor in the Browns. A friend and I own a pair of Cleveland Browns' 50-yard line seats, which we sell on StubHub every year [in the hopes of one day going to a playoff game... and making money until then]. It's a good thing we'd already sold a couple of the games, because the rest just dropped in value. Sorry, Dad, that means yours just dropped too. I guess my prediction that the Browns would win 9-10 games this year just became pretty doubtful...
His first season with the Cleveland Browns ended before it began.
Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowl center and one of the team's prized free-agent signings this winter, sustained a season-ending injury to his left knee on the first 11-on-11 drill of training camp Thursday -- a crushing blow for a club seemingly cursed by major injuries the past few seasons.
"He was the face of our free-agent class," general manager Phil Savage said. "We feel terrible for LeCharles, but life goes on."
Savage said Bentley tore his patellar tendon and will undergo surgery as early as Friday. Savage declined to say if Bentley's tear was partial or complete and would not speculate on a timeframe for recovery.
Blocking for Reuben Droughns on an off-tackle running play to the right, Bentley, who played four years at New Orleans, was briefly engaged in a block up front with nose tackle Ted Washington when his left knee buckled.
Bentley screamed, "No!" and grabbed his knee as Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel and his staff blew their whistles to halt play. While on his knees, the 26-year-old Bentley punched the ground in disgust as the Browns moved their scrimmage up the field so the club's medical staff could attend to him.
I guess there's always next year... [sob]