BEREA - Courtney Brown was placed on the injured-reserve list Thursday, ending another disappointing season for the third-year defensive end.
Brown suffered cartilage damage in his left knee Nov. 24 when he hit the artificial surface in the Louisiana Superdome. He played a week later against Carolina, but he sat out the last two games. Brown was scheduled to have surgery today.
"The most fortunate thing is that there was no major structural damage," Browns coach Butch Davis said. "The fact is that the swelling aspect of it wasn't subsiding as fast as we would have hoped. He has full range of motion."
The surgery is expected to result in a rehabilitation period of up to six weeks. Davis expects Brown to be ready to go for the first offseason minicamp in late April.
ON US: Some defensive players admit that blame for recent losses should be placed on them. The defense allowed Carolina's Dee Brown 122 rushing and Indianapolis' James Mungro 74 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
"Dee Brown will probably never have another day like that again," outside linebacker Darren Hambrick said. "But he did it against us. I'm not saying he's not going to be a good player, but we're the only ones he did it against."
Cornerback Corey Fuller is tired of hearing excuses for breakdowns.
"If the same things keep happening over and over again, obviously it's from a lack of studying," Fuller said. "You can't put it all on a lack of communication. We haven't played a whole game out of the 14 games we've played.
"It's about your pride now. You should be tired being asked the same questions after games or hearing the same stuff when you walk in here on Monday. It boils down to people just have to stop thinking up excuses."
One of the Browns' offseason goals was to strengthen the run defense. The Browns were 29th in the NFL last year with an average rushing yield of 130 yards. The results haven't been much better this year. Cleveland will enter Sunday's game in Baltimore 28th in rush defense, allowing 130.6 yards a game.
ALMOST BACK: Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon could be ready to resume his spot in the secondary as the starting right cornerback. McCutcheon missed two games and played sparingly last week after having surgery on a broken bone in his right thumb.
"It looks he'll be ready to go fulltime this week," Davis said. "That will be an added plus to the secondary."
PLAYOFF SCENARIO: There are two most-likely ways in which the Browns could qualify for the playoffs. One is simply winning their final two games and having Pittsburgh lose its final two. The Browns then would be the AFC North Division champion.
In the second scenario, the Browns could be a wild card if they win out and the following occurs: Oakland defeats Kansas City; Kansas City defeats San Diego; Denver loses to either Oakland or Arizona; New England loses to either the New York Jets or Miami, and Miami wins the AFC East Division.
INJURY REPORT: For the Ravens, cornerback Tom Knight (thigh) is doubtful. Cornerback Mike Flynn (knee) and quarterback Chris Redman (back) are questionable. Listed as probable are guard Bennie Anderson (neck); receiver Ron Johnson (hip), and defensive end Adalius Thomas (thigh).