About the Author
Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Here's an update on how several key Browns are recovering from injuries, as well as a look at how they fit into the club's plans:
LB Scott Fujita — Fujita was one of the Browns' top defensive players before suffering a knee injury in Week 10. One of the team's leaders, Fujita helped coordinate player-only workouts during the work stoppage. Look for him to start at outside linebacker in Dick Jauron's 4-3 scheme.
RB Montario Hardesty — Slated for a key role in the offense as a rookie, Hardesty suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the Browns' final preseason game of 2010. If he's healthy, he'll back up Peyton Hillis and provide another hard-nosed runner in a physical backfield. Hardesty told The (Willoughby, Ohio) News-Herald that he will be "ready" for training camp.
LB D'Qwell Jackson — He has missed most of the past two seasons with pectoral injuries, but Jackson told PFW in May that he's on-schedule on his recovery from his most recent injury. He could get looks at middle linebacker and on the weak side in the new defense, where he projects as a starter after re-signing before the lockout. One of the Browns' best defensive players before his injuries, Jackson gets a fresh start in a scheme better suited to his skills.
LB Kaluka Maiava — Maiava, who was limited to two games in 2010 after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee, told PFW in June that he was about "90 percent" recovered from his injuries. He likely will play on the weak side in the 4-3.
TE Evan Moore — Moore ended the season on injured reserve with a hip injury, but the injury was not regarded as serious, and he figures to continue to play an important role in the offense. Moore, a former wideout, has the speed needed to be split out wide, which can create matchup problems.
OT Tony Pashos — Pashos missed the majority of last season with an ankle injury. He's expected to be the Browns' right tackle in 2011.
DE Robaire Smith — Smith, who's slated to be an unrestricted free agent, missed 11 games with a back injury last season. Smith played end in Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme; if re-signed, he could figure inside. Conceivably, he also could play left end, too.