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Browns' Billy Winn diagnosed with ankle sprain

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The Cleveland Browns have high hopes for their defense this season, but they'll need to stay healthy to make a difference in the rough-and-tumble AFC North.

Things are off to a rocky start after defensive lineman Billy Winn was carted off the field Saturday morning with an apparent right leg injury.

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Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal noted that Winn was examined by a trainer for five minutes before the cart wheeled him off the playing field, his head bowed low.

Winn was diagnosed with an ankle sprain and will be evaluated on a weekly basis, the team announced Sunday.

The setback comes right after Pettine praised the fourth-year lineman as one of the team's emerging players on defense.

"I think he has had one of his better offseasons," Pettine said this week, per Ulrich. "Physically, he has put on some weight, but it is good weight. We're looking for big things, not just from him but the whole (defensive line) room. I think the competition is really going to force that room to work."

Winn has just three sacks over 18 starts, but has grown into a player with upside in recent campaigns. We still see veterans Randy Starks and Desmond Bryant as the presumptive starters at end.

First-round nose tackle Danny Shelton was drafted to save a front that finished last against the run in 2014. Those ugly results were directly linked to a rash of injuries that started early for the Browns and never let up. The injury bug needs to fly away this September for anything to be different in Cleveland.

UPDATE: The Browns also saw Terrance West suffer a calf injury and fellow running back Duke Johnson, the team's third-round pick, go down with a tweaked hamstring. Both players said it was nothing serious, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer.

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