Smith gets clearance to return to football after spine injury

Defensive end Robaire Smith has been medically cleared to play, his agent, Michael Harrison, told The Chronicle-Telegram.

Smith missed the final 11 games of last season with a spinal bruise while with the Browns. He should be a free agent when a new labor agreement is reached but has expressed interest in returning to Cleveland.

"Glad to be back!!" Smith said in a text message to the newspaper. "Can't wait."

Browns general manager Tom Heckert said at the NFL Scouting Combine last month that the team is interested in bringing Smith back.

Smith, 33, started working out about two months ago and was anticipating the medical clearance given by his spine surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins.

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