Monday Notes: Is Courtney Done?

Mike McLain provides the first independent report from Berea on today's happenings. Today's news includes an update on Courtney Brown's injury, wide receievers getting introspective, Carmen Policy slowing down the talk, and the latest on Dennis Northcutt. It's all here - first.

BEREA - Courtney Brown's season might have reached an end.

Brown will have surgery Thursday to repair cartilage damage in his left knee. He initially suffered the injury Nov. 24 when hitting the artificial turf at the Louisiana Superdome. He played the following week against Carolina but sat out the last two games.

"He has made very little, if any, progress on the knee," Browns coach Butch Davis said. "The swelling hasn't subsided. They're going to go in and do some exploratory surgery on the knee. They think they have a pretty good idea what it is from the MRI."

Davis said doctors think that Brown has a partial tear of a cartilage. There apparently is no ligament damage.

STEPPING UP: Receiver Andre Davis took blame for stepping in front of Kevin Johnson on the Browns' final offensive play.

"Anytime I get both hands on the ball, I should have had it," Andre Davis said. "I take full responsibility for not winning the game."

"I think that's big of him," Couch said. "For him to step up and say that, even though it's not true. There were probably a lot of plays that could have been made earlier in the game for it to not come down to that. For him to say that, it's a big step for a rookie to say that."

Johnson also had comforting words for Davis.

"I don't agree with him saying that," Johnson said. "There were 70 other plays that could have led to a win for us. If I just run my corner off, Jamel White almost has a walk-in touchdown on a screen pass. If I look at stuff like that, I cost us the game.

"Every guy could look at themselves and say they could have done something different. So for him to say it was his fault, that's ludicrous."

Johnson didn't want to say that he was sure the pass would have resulted in a touchdown had Davis not tipped it. Safety Brian Leigeb had coverage on the play, and it appeared that he might have had a chance to break up the throw.

"I don't want to say I'd have definitely caught the ball, but you never know what would have happened," Johnson said. "I had the safety beat. It was an excellent call. They motioned Jamel out to get me one-on-one with the safety. I get up on the safety, and I'm running across the back of the end zone.

"I'm looking at Tim crossing the field the whole time. Me and the quarterback have eye contact crossing the back of the end zone. I'm not even looking at Davis. I'm just looking at the ball. He just tried to make a play on the ball. It's like the ball stopped in midair when it was coming to me." < p>

NOT SO FAST: Browns president Carmen Policy said after last Sunday's game that he'll talk with Davis after the season about what the team has to do to take the next step. Policy said he wasn't certain if an overhaul or tinkering is needed.

"I don't think we need a major overhaul," Davis said. "You have to look at your football team. Right now isn't the time. Right now the most important thing is Baltimore (next Sunday). You look at the positive things that have happened. The direction the team has gone and what has gotten better. Some things will get better just because of experience."

GETTING CLOSE: Receiver Dennis Northcutt could return for Sunday's game in Baltimore after missing the last two games with a sprained knee.

"I feel real good right now," Northcutt said. "I have no problem walking. Playing wide receiver, I do a lot of cutting. We're going to test it this week and see how it feels."

WHAT WAS THAT?: Long snapper Ryan Kuehl, who rarely has a bad snap, sent back a low one to holder Chris Gardocki on the point-after play following the Browns' first touchdown. Gardocki wasn't able to pick up the ball.

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