Injuries Mar Performance at Green Bay

Mike McLain provides the wrap-up of the Browns - Packers preseason game, including updates on the team's walking wounded. Currently in the MASH unit: Couch, Taylor, Shea, Lang, Tucker, Little, and Felipe Claybrooks. Is the pre-season over yet?

GREEN BAY - Injuries were on the mind of the Cleveland Browns following their 27-20 loss to the Packers Monday at Lambeau Field.

The health of quarterback Tim Couch was of primary concern. Couch exited play midway through the second quarter with a strained right forearm. X-rays were negative, but he was scheduled to have a MRI on Tuesday.

The injury occurred after Couch released a pass and didn't involve contact. He said he anticipates playing Sept. 8 in the season opener, but he isn't certain if he'll be ready to go in the preseason finale Friday at home against Carolina.

"I thought the pain would go away," Couch said. "I threw a couple of more passes, but it got to the point where I couldn't grip the ball. It's going to be okay. It's actually settled down a lot since it first happened.

"I'll be there against Kansas City, no question. I'm going to get a lot of rehab and getting this thing right. I'll definitely be ready to go."

Also injured were defensive end Kenard Lang, offensive tackle Ryan Tucker, H-back Aaron Shea, defensive lineman Felipe Claybrooks and safety Earl Little. None of the injuries was considered serious, althouygh Lang, who sprain hi right ankle was carted off the field.

"In the case with all the guys, we have guarded optimism," Davis said. "We think that they're going to be okay. Until we get a chance to evaluate them 12 to 24 hours after the fact, you don't know. He (Couch) thinks he'll be okay, and the doctors think he's okay right now."

Andre Davis took the opening kick off 93 yards for a touchdown. Davis broke through the wedge on the right side and turned the corner on a block by Ben Taylor.

After the Packers went three-and-out, Couch directed the Browns on a 14-play, 77-yard march. The drive culminated with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Couch to Quincy Morgan, who beat cornerback Erwin Swiney at the line of scrimmage and caught the ball over his left shoulder in the end zone.

Couch completed eight of 10 passes on the drive for 79 yards. The drive consumed 9:37. "I slipped inside the DB (defensive back) and then slipped back outside of him," Morgan said. "The ball was right there."

Green Bay's first score came on a 28-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell. The Packers cut the Browns' lead to 14-10 when Darren Sharper returned a blocked field-goal attempt 35 yards for a touchdown 19 seconds before intermission. Phil Dawson's 50-yard attempt was blocked by Cletidus Hunt.

The Browns held a 163-74 edge in total yards at halftime. Couch was 14 of 18 for 112 yards and one touchdown. Rookie William Green, getting his second start of preseason, carried the ball nine times for 28 yards.

"We moved the ball quite a bit," Couch said. "We had some long drives and had the touchdown to Quincy, which was important for us. We did well against a very good defensive team. It was a good test for us, and I thought we passed it."

Sparked by Kelly Holcomb's 45-yard completion to Dennis Northcutt, the Browns moved to the Packers' 10 early in the third quarter. Dawson made a 28-yard field goal, extending Cleveland's lead to 17-13.

Doug Pederson connected with fullback Chris Gall on a 32-yard scoring play with 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter as the Packers took a 20-17 lead. Green Bay extended its lead to 27-17 when safety Todd Franz intercepted a Josh Booty pass intended for Autry Denson and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.

Jay Taylor concluded the scoring with a 35-yard field goal for the Browns.

BACK AT IT: Tre Johnson was on the field for the first time in preseason action, starting at right guard on the offensive line. Johnson sat out the first two games with a sprained knee.

Johnson's return resulted in a shuffling of the line. Barry Stokes, who had been starting at right guard, shifted to left guard. Shaun O'Hara, the previous starter at left guard, was out of the mix.

Another first-time starter was middle linebacker Earl Holmes, who's been following a careful rehabilitation program after having knee surgery in mid-June. Holmes made his presence known on the Packers' first play from scrimmage, teaming with Gerard Warren to stop Ahman Green for no gain.

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