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NFL opens probe into Browns rookie Davis' season-ending injury

  • By Associated Press
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BEREA, Ohio -- The NFL is investigating how Cleveland Browns rookie running back James Davis sustained a season-ending shoulder injury.

James Davis , RB
Cleveland Browns

2009 Statistics
Games/Starts: 2/0
Carries: 9
Yards: 15

ESPN.com reported Sunday that Davis was injured during a post-practice "opportunity period" when he was hit by a Browns linebacker. According to the report, witnesses said Davis didn't have shoulder pads on while the linebacker who hit him was wearing them.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday that the NFL is aware of the alleged incident and has been looking into the matter.

"The review is ongoing," Aiello said in an e-mail response to The Associated Press.

Browns coach Eric Mangini confirmed Monday that he has discussed the matter with the league.

"I talked to the league about it and feel comfortable with where we are on it," Mangini said. "I like James Davis a lot. The last thing we want to do is ever put him in a position or anybody in a position where they could get hurt. I've talked to a lot of people involved in it, and we're going to continue to work with the league on it."

Mangini said the post-practice period is open to all players to get in extra work, but that it's normally attended by rookies and younger players. He said the workouts are done in a controlled environment, supervised by coaches. Mangini said he occasionally watches.

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Mangini also said he would never condone a situation like the one being reported.

"Never do that," he said. "If something like that did happen, it shouldn't. Ever."

A sixth-round draft pick from Clemson, Davis was impressive in training camp and the preseason. He was hurt during the Sept. 13 season opener against the Minnesota Vikings and was placed on injured reserve Oct. 3.

Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson believed the alleged incident was implausible.

"That sounds crazy to me that something like that would be reported," he said. "That doesn't make any sense to me. That wouldn't be fair to him (Davis)."

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Running back Jamal Lewis, who knows Davis well, avoided any specific questions about the incident.

"Actually, I don't really know none of that," said Lewis, who attended the same Atlanta high school as Davis. "I just know that he had hurt his shoulder in the first game. That's all I really know about."

Mangini confirmed that Davis will need surgery but wouldn't say if an operation has been scheduled.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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