Browns LT Verba out for year

CLEVELAND, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Browns have lost starting left tackle Ross Verba for the entire 2003 season due to a ruptured right bicep tendon.

Surgery will be performed and rehabilitation is expected to take five to six months.


"I feel terrible for Ross," said Browns coach Butch Davis. "He had a tremendous preseason and performed great at the left tackle position each of the last two seasons. Injuries, however, are part of the game and annually affect many teams."

But this injury is indeed a major setback for the Browns, who rely on Verba and right tackle Rex Tucker to anchor the line.

"We will decide internally how to fill this void, and we fully expect someone to meet the challenge that waits," Davis said.

Signed as a free agent in March 2001 after playing four years with the Green Bay Packers, Verba started 31 of 32 games at left tackle along with last season's wild card game at Pittsburgh.

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