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Ben Tate to miss 2-4 weeks for Cleveland Browns

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The Cleveland Browns will be without their prized free agent running back for the next few weeks.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that running back Ben Tate will likely miss a few weeks with a knee sprain, according to a source informed of the injury. The length of the running back's absence depends on how he recovers; it could be as few as two weeks or as many as four.

The positive here is that no surgery is needed, per Rapoport.

Tate signed a two-year contract worth about $6.2 million with the Browns this offseason. Durability was a question mark for Tate during his three seasons in Houston. He missed two games last season and played through injured ribs. The 26-year-old has never played a full 16-game slate.

In his first Browns start Tate showed flashes against a pillowy soft Steelers defense. He displayed good vision and his trademark toughness, compiling 41 yards on just 6 carries (6.8 average) including a nice 25-yard scamper before getting injured.

In his stead, rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell performed just as superbly. West went off for 100 yards on 16 attempts and looked fantastic breaking tackles. Crowell pounded his way for two touchdown scores.

The young duo should see plenty of action given the Browns' lack of receiving weapons. West will likely see something around a 60-40 split advantage, with Crowell getting most of the goal-line carries.

UPDATE: Browns coach Mike Pettine officially ruled Tate out for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. West will get the start, and Crowell will shoulder backup duties.

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