Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Is there a doctor in the house?

Injuries are the word of the day in Cleveland sports.

For the Browns, starting left guard Eric Steinbach and third-down back Brandon Jackson reportedly will be out for a while – and Steinbach may be looking at season-ending back surgery.

Coach Pat Shurmur told The Plain Dealer that Jackson will be out “an extended period.”

As for Steinbach … well it doesn’t sound good.

“At this point, he’s going through some treatments that we’re hoping will get him back, and there’s no real final call yet on whether he’ll be back — or when actually,” Shurmur said of Steinbach.

Doctors are trying to determine whether he needs surgery, according to The PD and, if that’s true, he could be put on injured reserve and be out for the season.

If that turns out to be true then what was shaping up to the a true strength for the team – the offensive line – takes a big hit. Shurmur said rookie guard Jason Pinkston has made “tremendous progress” and Pinkston is expected to replace Steinbach if he can’t come back.

The only possible bright side to that scenario is Pinkston would line up between Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, two of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, who would be able to help him out.

In addition to Steinbach and Jackson, (take a deep breath) backup linebacker Titus Brown has a high-ankle sprain (apparently he didn’t get the memo that that was last year’s injury), while wide receiver Jordan Norwood (knee), defensive end Marcus Benard (sore shoulder), wide receivers Josh Cribbs (hamstring) and Mohamed Massaquoi (left foot), strong safety T.J. Ward (hamstring), free safety Usama Young (hamstring), weakside linebacker Chris Gocong (pinched nerve), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), wide receiver Carlton Mitchell (finger surgery) and linebacker Steven Octavien (unspecified) are also all injured and had limited to no participation in Thurday’s walk through.

Did we mention that the season-opening game against Cincinnati is just over two weeks away?

The news isn’t much better for the Indians, who just keep seeing players fall by the wayside.

Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin and outfielder Michael Brantley were placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday.

“Michael was seen again by Dr. (Thomas) Graham at the Cleveland Clinic,” head trainer Lonnie Soloff told The Beacon Journal. ”It was unlikely that he would be able to play in three to five days, so he was placed on the disabled list.

As for Tomlin, ”Josh experienced discomfort in his right elbow during his last start,” Soloff said. “”After an examination and an MRI, it was determined that he has a sprain of the elbow. He will shut down all throwing for two weeks then be re-examined.”

Boy, we just can’t handle all the good news going around town today.

At least Jim Thome has come back to save us all from … something.

But unless Thome earned his medical degree in the nine years he was away from home, it may not matter much.

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