The Browns' run of bad luck concerning their first-round draft choices has hit a new low. Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., their first draft pick in 2004, is expected to miss the entire 2005 season after tearing his right ACL in a motorcycle accident May 1.
In addition to the knee, the 21-year-old tight end also has ligament and tendon damage in his right shoulder. He faces surgery to repair both injuries. There is also concern Winslow's right kneecap could be damaged.
Winslow was taken by ambulance to a Cleveland area hospital after crashing his motorcycle into a parking lot curb at 35 mph, flying over the handlebars, and landing 16 feet from his wrecked Suzuki in dirt and branches after first hitting a small tree hard enough to tear it from the ground. He remained in The Cleveland Clinic at the end of last week.
Winslow also suffered a punctured lung and a bruised kidney, though late last week the Browns announced his internal injuries (they were not specific what those are) are improving.
Winslow, 6-4, 250 pounds, never had injury problems in three seasons at the University of Miami (he left after his junior season), yet he missed 14 games last year as a Browns rookie with a broken right fibula and torn ligament sustained during an onside kick.
It would be a blow to the offense if Winslow is out for the year. Braylon Edwards was drafted in the first round with the thought he and Winslow would spread the field, opening holes for the running backs as well as getting single-coverage for themselves.
The Browns have had seven first-round draft picks since the expansion year of 1999. Tim Couch is out of football, Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren are in Denver, William Green was told to seek a trade, Jeff Faine finished each of his first two seasons on injured reserve and now it looks as though Winslow will miss 30 of his first 32 games.
Because riding a motorcycle is a violation of Winslow's contract, which
forbids participating in dangerous activities, the Browns could withhold payment
of any money due in 2005 and order him to pay back a $4.4 million option bonus
Winslow was paid March 1.