Benard’s release among Browns’ roster moves

Published 1:55 am Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BEREA (AP) — Marcus Benard’s inspiring comeback has been diverted.

Benard, who luckily survived a motorcycle accident last year, was waived Monday by the Cleveland Browns after the defensive end dislocated his left elbow in Friday night’s exhibition loss to Philadelphia. Benard could return to the club if he’s not claimed by another team.

It’s been a rough year for the 27-year-old Benard, who led the Browns in sacks in 2010.

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Last October, not long after leaving practice, Benard crashed his three-wheel motorcycle into a guardrail and was thrown an estimated 80 yards. Benard sustained a broken hand and other serious injuries that required a three-day hospital stay.

During minicamp this year, Benard, bearing a nasty scar on his hand, spoke about how the incident had given him a new outlook on life and he expressed gratitude at being able to raise his three sons. He had played well during training camp and seemed to be part of the Browns’ plans for this season before he was injured in the fourth quarter against the Eagles on a running play near the goal line.

The Browns made several other moves Monday as they were required by the NFL to trim their roster to 75. They must be down to 53 by Friday at 9 p.m.

As expected, the club placed starting defensive tackle Phil Taylor on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which means he can’t play for at least the first six weeks of the season.

Taylor, a first-round draft pick in 2010 who started all 16 games as a rookie last season, tore a chest muscle lifting weights at the team’s training facility in May.

Per league rules, Taylor must sit out through the Browns’ Oct. 14 game against Cincinnati. If he returns, the team has a three-week period when Taylor can begin practicing. Once he practices, the Browns have an additional three weeks to activate Taylor or put him on injured reserve and end his season.

The club also placed starting linebacker Chris Gocong and rookie linebacker Emmanuel Acho on IR, ending their seasons. Gocong, who didn’t miss a game in his first two seasons with the Browns, tore his Achilles in practice on Aug. 4. The team never disclosed the nature of Acho’s injury.

In addition, the Browns waived defensive lineman Auston English and defensive back Antwuan Reed. Like Acho, their injuries were not disclosed.

Cleveland was awarded defensive lineman Ernest Owusu off waivers from the Minnesota. The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in May.

Owusu (oh-WOO-sue) played four years at California, appearing in 42 games and making 18 starts for the Bears.


NOTES: Browns RB Montario Hardesty was back practicing with the starting offense after sitting out team drills on Sunday. Coach Pat Shurmur said Hardesty was held out because of soreness, ending speculation he had been demoted for fumbling against the Eagles. However, Shurmur made it clear he will not tolerate turnovers. …. The Browns were forced to practice indoors by all-day rain. … S David Sims and DE Brian Schaefering were not seen at practice, and no excuse was given for their absences. … Shurmur praised fourth-year C Alex Mack, calling him “one of the finer centers in the league.” … Rookie DT Billy Winn revealed he grew up riding skateboards and roller blading. “I’m an action sports guy,” said Winn, who used to ride around Boise State’s campus on a long board. … Rookie WR Josh Gordon continues to impress and make progress. He had several nice grabs during the two-hour workout.