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August 13, 2012 - Mike McLain
BEREA -- The Browns' practice field looks more like a set for a Civil War movie than a place where football is played.
The list of walking wound with only one preseason game in the books is lengthy. The defense opened camp without tackle Phil Taylor, who's recovering from surgery on a torn pectoral. Linebacker Chris Gocong went down for the season with a torn Achilles' tendon early in camp.
In addition to those key losses, the defense is now without cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), linebacker Scott Fujita (soreness) and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (shoulder).
Safety Usama Young is out. Others missing on defense are tackle Scott Paxson (knee) and end Frostee Rucker.
The injury to Patterson appears to be the most serious. He was helped off the field. He walked to the locker room later under his own pwoer, but he had a noticeable limp.
If that's not bad enough, cornerback Joe Haden might miss the first four games if he's suspended for reportedly failing a drug test.
The casualties on offense include receivers Mohamed Massaquoi (concussion) and Travis Benjamin (soreness). Tight ends Ben Watson and Jordan Cameron (back) are out, along with running back Trent Richardson.
Coach Pat Shurmur spoke highly again of the play of rookie free agnet linebacker L.J. Fort of Northern Iowa. Fort is undersized (6-0, 230), but he has a chance to stick for his special teams play. Shurmur said Fort can play inside or outside.
Shurmur anticipates the starters playing the first half and perhaps longer Thursday against the Green Bay Packers. They will play more than is normal for the second preseason game because the opponent in the third game -- the Philadelphia Eagles -- is also the opponent in the sesaon opener. The third preseason game is normally the dress rehearsel for the openere, but because Shurmur doesn't want to show the Eagles too much, he might use Thursday's game as the dress rehearsal.
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