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News » Heiden's 2008 over, prep for 2009 begins

Heiden's 2008 over, prep for 2009 begins

Heiden's 2008 over, prep for 2009 begins

The Browns will try to get tight end Steve Heiden back on the field for the 2009 opener, his agent, Jack Wirth, said Wednesday.

"That's what Steve's been told and with him being the worker that he is, I wouldn't doubt that for a minute," Wirth said.

Heiden, who suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament and strained medial collateral ligament during Monday night's loss to the Eagles, will have surgery today to have the knee reconstructed and has been placed on injured reserve. It can take from six months to a year to recover from a torn ACL.

The opener is a little less than nine months away, but there's recent precedent for such a speedy return. Braylon Edwards tore his ACL in December 2005 and was back on the field for the 2006 opener. He played in all 16 games that year, including 15 starts. He caught 61 passes for 884 yards and six touchdowns.

"Steve is obviously very disappointed because he was having a solid season and everything was going well for him," said Wirth. "Now he's enthusiastic about getting this over with and getting back on the field as soon as possible.

"With his good doctors and trainers, Steve is very optimistic about his recovery."

Heiden, who will be heading into his 11th NFL season, started 11 games this season and played in 14. He caught 23 passes for 249 yards.

His injury could make it imperative the Browns hang onto Kellen Winslow, who is seeking a new contract. Winslow will sit out this week with a high ankle sprain, but is hoping to play in the season finale at Pittsburgh.

The absence of both tight ends makes things even tougher for quarterback Ken Dorsey.

"For one, [Heiden's] a great player," said Dorsey. "Not having him out there from that aspect is difficult. Two is the leadership he brings on the field and in the locker room and the knowledge he brings of the game. He's seen a lot of Football. Guys will step up and play well, but not having him and not having Kellen, it's never easy."

The injury means more time for rookie tight end Martin Rucker.

Jones home finale?

Safety Sean Jones, whose contract is up in March, might be playing his last game at Browns Stadium as a Brown.

"I have no clue what the future holds," said Jones. "I let my agents deal with that kind of stuff. I'll just play Football. I'll find out eventually."

Jones, a fifth-year pro, reiterated he wants to finish his career as a Brown.

"This is the team I was drafted to and I love Cleveland," he said. "I'm excited that I've gotten this far in my career and hopefully it can be as a Brown in the future."

Jones admitted he had high expectations for the season before having arthroscopic knee surgery in September and missing three games.

"It's unfortunate, but I battled through the injury and think I've come back on top," he said. "I'm excited about these last two games, getting my r?sum? out there. Hopefully the Browns keep me. You never know. I just want to play good Football."

Jones said his interception Monday night, when he picked off Eagles' receiver DeSean Jackson in the end zone, showed what he's capable of.

"I take pride in being where I'm supposed to be," he said. "I'm an athletic safety and I just want to go make plays and win games."

Injury report: The following players didn't practice Wednesday: Josh Cribbs (back), Brandon McDonald (shoulder), Shaun Rogers (neck burner), Shaun Smith (calf), Leon Williams (knee), Winslow (ankle) and Dave Zastudil (knee tendinitis).

Roster moves: The Browns signed rookie receiver Paul Hubbard off the practice squad and signed first-year tight end John Madsen. The Browns also signed linebacker David Holloway to the practice squad and placed linebacker Beau Bell (knee) on injured reserve.

Hubbard (6-2, 225) was the Browns' sixth-round pick out of Wisconsin. He has spent the entire season on the practice squad. Madsen (6-5, 240) played four games earlier this year with the Oakland Raiders. A three-year veteran, he played in 35 career games, including five starts, with the Raiders and has 19 receptions for 248 yards and two touchdowns.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: mcabot@plaind.com, 216-999-4670

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 19, 2008

Therrian Fontenot Name: Therrian Fontenot
Position: CB
Age: 27
Experience: 2 years
College: Fresno State
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