Winslow doesn’t want to leave Browns

Published 11:25 pm Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kellen Winslow was reluctant to talk, what with his tongue being a past problem.

But the talented tight end, whose badly sprained left ankle will likely keep him off the field the remainder of Cleveland’s schedule, decided to sit down at his locker stall on Wednesday and address his disappointing season with the Browns.

He hopes it’s not his last one.

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Despite the Browns’ shocking slide and the uncertainty leading into an upcoming offseason of probable change, Winslow wants to stay in Cleveland.

‘‘I love being a Cleveland Brown,’’ he said. ‘‘The guys here, we don’t know who’s going to be here next year. You just have to focus on this year. That’s all you can do. … I do want to be back here. I love being here. I love playing here. The fans have stuck by me.’’

Although Winslow’s ankle remains swollen — he hurt it in a Nov. 30 game against Indianapolis — and he has a sprained right shoulder, the oft-injured 25-year-old is winding down this season in better shape than he has in some time. Winslow doesn’t anticipate needing any surgeries, a welcome change after having multiple procedures on his right knee in recent years.

During an interview he initially turned down, Winslow revealed for the first time that noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews worked on his knee last winter.

Winslow hasn’t given up on playing again this season. He is continuing to get treatment and has been strengthening his ankle in hopes of avoiding his third trip to the reserve-injured list since joining the NFL in 2004.

Injuries have already cost him nearly two complete seasons.

‘‘I can come back, but I want to be healthy enough to help my team win,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t want to just be out there to be out there. I want to help my team win.’’

Browns coach Romeo Crennel said the club has discussed shutting Winslow down.

‘‘We have talked about it,’’ he said. ‘‘Our range is anywhere from 3-to-6 weeks. He wants to have the opportunity to see if it will get better. If it will get better I think he would like to try to play. We are playing it by ear and seeing what happens.’’