CLEVELAND -- On crutches again, Montario Hardesty hobbled toward the stadium's exit after his first NFL game for a doctor's appointment.
He can't outrun his knee problems.
"I hurt my knee making a cut," a dejected Hardesty said. "I really don't know what it is. I can't say it's not frustrating. I want to stay positive, get as much information as possible and return my focus to getting better. I'm hopeful whatever it is, I can get back as soon as possible."
Hardesty said it felt nothing like any of his previous injuries. He's scheduled for an MRI and more tests Friday.
Hardesty made his pro debut after missing training camp with a bone bruise, an injury he sustained in his surgically repaired right knee in a 1-on-1 tackling drill during the week before Cleveland's veterans reported. He recently returned to practice, and the Browns were excited about finally having him on the field.
Hardesty showed his inside power before he was hurt, scoring on a 1-yard run in the first quarter. He finished with 25 yards on seven carries.
On a routine running play off the left side, Hardesty picked up 2 yards, but he stayed on the ground after being tackled. He grimaced as trainers worked on his leg before he slowly walked to the sideline, where the Browns' medical staff examined him.
Hardesty didn't limp and was able to put full weight on his left leg as he left the field.
McCoy, who had his swollen left hand X-rayed after being stepped on, sympathized with his teammate.
"It's too bad he left," McCoy said. "He really ran hard on our touchdown drive. He was really looking good."
The Browns traded into the second round to draft Hardesty, who gained 1,345 yards last season in the rugged Southeastern Conference. The Browns' front office is high on Hardesty, believing he can step in as a starter or serve as a change-of-pace for Jerome Harrison, who at just 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds has durability questions.
"Let's hope nobody gets hurt," Browns president Mike Holmgren, his right leg still in a cast from foot surgery, said before the game. He was driven around in his golf cart.
Hardesty's injury could keep running back James Davis on the roster. Davis gained 66 yards on 15 carries and caught five passes for 53 yards before leaving with a leg injury in the fourth quarter.
"Really unacceptable," McCoy said of his turnover.
The rookie regrouped, though, and efficiently moved the Browns' second- and third-team offenses with short, precise throws. He twice completed 16-yarders, but he was sacked three times.
"This capped off my preseason," McCoy said. "It felt great to get into a game, get into a rhythm and get a feel for the defense. Just being in the huddle, calling plays and leading drives -- that's football."
Collins set up Cleveland's TD with his own miscue. Backed up after a holding penalty, Collins was in the shotgun when he turned his head just as second-string center Josh Beekman hiked the ball. It bounced off Collins, and Cleveland recovered at the 13.
"It was pretty comfortable on most things," Collins said. "The formations and play-calling, some of them I wasn't as sharp as I needed to be, but overall, I thought it was a pretty decent effort other than the mishap we had on the shotgun snap."
"It was good to get him out there, especially with our No. 1 line," Smith said. "That was the plan. I felt like he would handle the situation the way he did. He's not a rookie coming in here."
Notes:Bears general manager Jerry Angelo is comfortable with the 38-year-old Collins as the team's second QB. "We've seen enough of him," said Angelo, who plans to keep three quarterbacks. "His arm looks live. We feel good about him. We have confidence that he's going to be our backup." ... Angelo said some of the final roster decisions will be difficult. "We have more decisions with the roster this year than we have had with past rosters on the fringe players." ... Dawson was wide on a 58-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of the first half. He also made a 24-yarder.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press