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In case anyone cares why he failed the physical


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Failed physical sends Suggs back to Cleveland

The former Tech star says the Jets told him they could not keep him because of a knee issue.

Mark Berman

So much for Lee Suggs' fresh start.

The former William Fleming and Virginia Tech running back failed his physical with the New York Jets on Tuesday, voiding Monday's trade in which the Cleveland Browns sent him to the Jets for defensive back Derrick Strait.

The oft-injured Suggs, who underwent four hours of exams Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y., said the Jets told him he failed because of a degenerative joint disease in his left knee.

"They said it [the knee] was too bad for them," Suggs said in a phone interview while waiting for a flight back to Cleveland to rejoin the Browns. "I had no idea that they would do that [flunk him]. I've been playing on it for so long, I don't see why they would be concerned."

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It involves the progressive loss of cartilage in the joints, according to health Web site WebMd.com.

Suggs said he had previously been told he had arthritis.

Suggs rushed for a team-high 744 yards in 10 games for Cleveland in 2004. He ran for only 15 yards on eight carries last year, when he missed two games with a sprained ankle and six games with a broken thumb.

But Suggs said he also suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee last season, and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in January.

"I've just got to keep fighting -- keep your head up and keep on," he said. "I feel I have a lot of career left. It's not like I'm in a lot of pain, so I feel I have the body to do it. It [the knee] feels fine to me right now; that's all that matters to me right now."

Browns general manager Phil Savage noted in a press release Tuesday that Suggs had participated in every minicamp practice during the spring and every practice during camp this summer. He also played a lot in last week's exhibition game.

"Medical opinions can vary from team to team, and obviously this is one team's opinion," Savage said in the release about the Jets' decision. "We anticipate Lee Suggs returning to the Browns and working hard in practice and preparing for the season to the best of his ability, just as he has shown throughout his career with the Browns."

When he was a junior at Tech, Suggs tore the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial meniscus in his left knee in the 2001 season opener. He had reconstructive surgery and missed the rest of that season.

Jets coach Eric Mangini said his team was "very thorough" with the physical.

"We have a whole series of tests that we do," Mangini said. "He just didn't pass those tests. ... Each team has a criteria they set up that they believe is what's important and what's needed to be competitive. I'm very comfortable with the tests we have set up."

Browns coach Romeo Crennel said he wouldn't rule out the possibility that the Jets failed Suggs on purpose. He doesn't intend to hold him out of practice.

"Generally, you could probably fail a lot of guys in the NFL on physicals because of injuries they have sustained," Crennel said in an interview session after practice, according to a transcript from the Browns.

Suggs would have had a chance to start with the Jets. They need a replacement for Curtis Martin, who is injured.

"I was looking forward to a fresh start," the fourth-year pro said.

When Suggs rejoins the Browns, he will continue to compete with William Green for the second-string job behind Reuben Droughns.

"We'll put Lee back in his spot and move on just like he hasn't missed anything," Crennel said. "If we didn't want him, we'd cut him. ... We think that Lee can be competitive and we are going to give him a shot to win the No. 2 job. That's the way it was before the trade and that's the way it's still going to be."

Suggs, who had yet to talk with any Browns officials Tuesday, fears he might be released.

"They tried to trade me, so it seems to me that they don't want me there," Suggs said. "So I wouldn't think I had any shot" at the No. 2 job.

Crennel said the Browns might consider trading Suggs again.

Suggs also has missed games in his NFL career because of shoulder surgery, a neck injury and a toe injury.

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I understand it was by chance they found it out.

He was asked to bench press DRob five times and could only do it four.

When they investigated they came accross the knee problem.

So do you think this disease could be contagious and Suggs contracted it by making physical contact with DRob?

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"I don't see why they would be concerned."

Probably because the only reason they were looking to trade for him was because our #1 HB has the exact same condition. Hmm, I wonder why they called off the trade :rolleyes:

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Bradway and Herm knew that Dwayne Robertson had a bone on bone knee issue BEFORE drafting him, yet Mangini and co. pass on Suggs.

Not that Mangini and Tannenbaum would have traded 2 #1's and a 4th to move up with Chicago, but I wonder what their feelings on DRob are, or would have been....Guess I have my answer.

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"Browns coach Romeo Crennel said he wouldn't rule out the possibility that the Jets failed Suggs on purpose."

can you fail someone accidentally? why trade for him if you're just going to fail him regardless of the exam's results? moron moment from crennel.

i got it: maybe working under parcells has taught mangini a thing or two about motivation and this was just a grand ploy to put a fire under derrick strait.

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