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Browns Acquire Backup Center; Injury Updates

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Lennie Friedman
Position: OL
Height: 6-3
Weight: 295
Born: 10/13/1976
College: Duke
NFL Experience: 7
We've been wondering when or if the Browns would make another deal to acquire a backup center, and that happened today when the team traded an undisclosed draft pick(probably a sixth- or seventh-rounder) to the Chicago Bears for Lennie Friedman. Friedman, a seven-year veteran, is now the frontrunner to become the new "Bob Hallen" as a primary backup to Ross Tucker. To make room for Friedman, Mike Mabry was released, removing him from the center competition. With Rob Smith returning from injury as well, it lessened Mabry's chances even more. Check out what the Chicago Bears' version of Dawgs By Nature, Windy City Gridiron, had to say about this trade.

Last year, Friedman hardly played for the Bears, as he saw time as an offensive and defensive lineman. He played in eleven games last year, but his role was a backup. He started the first two games of the 2004 season for the Washington Redskins as a center. He started 14 games in 2001 for the Denver Broncos, who are always known for strong running games. Although Friedman's primary position is center, he can be used as a guard as well, much like Hallen and Alonzo Ephraim. If Friedman turns out to be suitable enough as a reserve, it may allow the Browns to say bye to Ephraim after Week 4.

Here are some injury notes regarding Browns' players and their status in this week's game against the Buffalo Bills.

  1. Gary Baxter: He should begin practicing next week. Since it's an early game on Thursday next week against the Chicago Bears, it's unknown whether he'll be playing in that game.
  2. Braylon Edwards: At the moment, he will play for a few plays against the Bills. Nothing is official yet though, but if everything goes well before the game, there's nothing preventing him from playing.
  3. Ryan Tucker: He isn't ready to play against the Bills, although his knee feels fine. Don't be surprised if he gets his feet wet against the Bears.
  4. Brodney Pool: It looked as if Pool hurt his knee during practice, but he got up eventually and seemed to be ok.
Tomorrow, I'm going to attempt a new feature for Dawgs By Nature. The past two preseason games, I've previewed the Browns' game by analyzing our team. Tomorrow, I will have a report on what's been going on with the Buffalo Bills during the offseason, so we'll know what to expect from them, including some general background information for those of you that aren't up-to-date on other teams around the league. Then, on Saturday morning, I'll have our gameday preview thread, just as before. EDIT: I have disabled the ability to post at Dawgs By Nature unless you're registered due to spammers hitting the site. Please take the time to register if you're a reader though, and join in on the discussion!