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Time for Cleveland Defender to Deliver Courtney Brown's Comeback


To say that Cleveland defensive end Courtney Brown has been a
disappointment in his first three years as a pro would be an
understatement. The first pick in the 2000 draft, Brown has
missed 16 of his last 32 games with an assortment of injuries. In
the 32 career games he has played, he has had just 11 sacks. Last
week Brown practiced full-speed for the first time since
undergoing off-season microfracture surgery--the same procedure
that was a failed last gasp for defensive linemen Eric Swann and
Andre Wadsworth--on his left knee. Microfracture surgery is
intended to encourage cartilage growth by drilling holes in the

After rushing the passer during drills with the Bills last Friday
and favoring the knee slightly, Brown said he thought he would be
ready to play on opening day. "I feel confident I can be a
full-time player this year," he said. "I believe it's my destiny
to play at a high level."

Team officials are encouraged about Brown's knee because the
cartilage degeneration--he was injured during a game last
November--is not severe; doctors had to drill only one hole. But
the Browns are running out of patience with Brown because, even
when healthy, he hasn't been the dominant player they thought
they were getting out of Penn State.