Lewis, Dawson out for Browns, who sign Cundiff to kick vs. Ravens

CLEVELAND -- The task was ominous enough. Now the winless Cleveland Browns must play a fierce AFC North rival without two of their best offensive weapons.

Running back Jamal Lewis and kicker Phil Dawson both will miss Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens because of injuries.

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Lewis, a 10,000-yard rusher in his 10-year NFL career, won't play because of a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice all week. Dawson, who has played some of his best games against the Ravens, is sidelined with an injured right calf.

On top of that, the Browns also will be without offensive linemen Floyd Womack (ankle) and Rex Hadnot (knee).

To replace Dawson, the Browns signed kicker Billy Cundiff, who spent four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and one with the New Orleans Saints. He was released by the Detroit Lions on Sept. 5.

Cundiff was one of five kickers the Browns worked out Friday, when Dawson was added to the injury report. In 58 career regular-season games, Cundiff has made 60 of 83 field-goal attempts and 100 of 101 point-after kicks.

The Browns waived running back Cedric Peerman to make roster room for Cundiff.

Dawson has made 24 of 26 field-goal attempts in 19 career games against the Ravens. Two years ago, he kicked a 33-yarder in overtime to give the Browns a 33-30 overtime win in Baltimore. Dawson had forced OT by kicking a 51-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.

Lewis had hoped to face his former Ravens teammates again, but he injured his hamstring during last week's 27-6 loss in Denver and was ruled out despite a week of treatment and rest. Lewis leads the Browns with 95 rushing yards.

With Lewis not able to play, the Browns will turn to rookie running back James Davis and fourth-year pro Jerome Harrison against the Ravens, who have the NFL's top run defense. Davis missed last week's game because of a shoulder injury, and Harrison was out of the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

Although Lewis is out, Browns coach Eric Mangini believes the veteran's knowledge of the Ravens' personnel can help Davis and Harrison, who have combined for just 13 yards on seven carries this season.

Hank Fraley will start in Womack's place at right guard. Fraley, a former center, entered last weekend's game after Womack was hurt.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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