It's amazing how greatly the internet has changed how we follow our favorite football teams.
I'm in the office this morning, trying to catch up from missing last Thursday and Friday to go watch the opening round of March Madness. About 9 AM, my Blackberry starts pinging with the sound of incoming emails. Nose to the grindstone, I ignore the first 10-12. Finally, I can take it no longer. A quick glance at the display screen reveals the word "Winslow" in every subject line. Uh oh.
As it turns out, the folks over at the very popular NFL rumor mill website ProFootballTalk.com posted a story this morning intimating that Browns tight end Kellen Winslow II might miss the 2007 season as a result of his recent microfracture surgery on his leg ... and that the Browns are not counting on him to be available this year.
Couple things here. One, Pro Football Talk. Like any site that deals in the business of rumors and speculation ... they've had their share of misses over the last couple of years, there's no question about that. On the other hand, they've broken quite a few stories as well.
Given the dicey nature of microfracture surgery, and the Browns recent history with injuries to star players, I don't think this news would shock anyone. And we were all over this one three weeks ago when our very own Mansfield Lucas penned on the matter in an excellent piece that chided the Browns organization for being secretive about the surgery, and also lamenting about the seriousness of the procedure.
All we can do is pray they're wrong on this one. And if they're not, Georgia Tech wide reciever Calvin Johnson moves right into the mix of players that the Browns will seriously consider with the third overall selection in the draft.
POSTED 8:44 a.m. EDT, March 19, 2007
BROWNS NOT COUNTING ON WINSLOW
In response to a tip that we recently received regarding the condition of Browns tight end Kellen Winslow following microfracture surgery on the knee that he initially injured when he made like Evel Knievel in May 2005, we've checked with a couple of our sources and we've determined that the powers that be in Cleveland are not counting on Winslow to be available for the 2007.
"There really is a good chance he won't play this season," a league source told us.
The bigger question, as the source pointed out, is why didn't the Browns shut Winslow down earlier in the 2006 season? They were out of the playoff hunt, and yet Winslow (to the pleasure of fantasy owners only) continued to play despite being listed as questionable nearly every week due to his knee.
"I would have made him have the surgery earlier to make sure he'd be ready for this upcoming season," said the source.
But there are also whispers that, in the wake of the procedure for creating scar tissue that will simulate knee cartilage, Winslow might never be able to play again.