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Dansby, Sheard injuries dampen Browns' playoff hopes

The battered defense of the Cleveland Browns is down another pair of playmakers.

Coach Mike Pettine told reporters Monday that pass rusher Jabaal Sheard and inside linebacker Karlos Dansby will "both be out some time."

Pettine said Dansby could be out for a month with the knee injury he sustained in Sunday's 23-7 loss to the Houston Texans. Sheard might be done for the year with a more serious injury that involves "a bone in his foot," according to the coach.

Fourth-year linebacker Craig Robertson will step into Dansby's spot as the quarterback of Pettine's 3-4 scheme, while second-year edge rusher Barkevious Mingo will see his role increase with Sheard on the shelf.

Both injuries serve as a potentially fatal blow for the league's second-worst run defense. Dansby was enjoying a Pro Bowl-caliber season while Sheard -- one of our summertime "Making the Leap" candidates -- had bloomed into an effective run-stopper with promising pass-rushing skills.

Already stripped of Phil Taylor, John Hughes and Armonty Bryant along the defensive line, it's fair to wonder if Cleveland's laundry list of injuries might snuff out a season that once glowed with promise.

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