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Eric Wright and Marcus Benard Out: Injury Bug Bites Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 27:  Eric Wright #24 of the Cleveland Browns returns an interception past Samson Satele #64 of the Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Samuel IngroAnalyst IAugust 10, 2010

After weeks of watching the misfortune of the Denver Broncos' injury woes, Tuesday morning's practice finally saw the Cleveland Browns on the receiving end of their own.

The most serious of the two involves practice squad phenom Marcus Benard.

Benard is a linebacker who came on late last season and posted 3.5 sacks over the course of the Browns' winning streak; he was starting to get serious consideration at outside linebacker this season.

Unfortunately, at this morning's practice, Benard was injured and carted off the field, with the details still being determined.

While the depth at linebacker for the Cleveland Browns is fairly deep, the amount of pass rushers should certainly be a concern if Benard is out for an extended period of time. The only player to crack the top 40 in sacks last year, was Kamerion Wimbley, who now plays for the Oakland Raiders.

In the secondary, the man who leads the current roster in interceptions last season, has also suffered a setback.

Eric Wright, the projected starter at cornerback this season, faced an injury to his right leg during this morning's seven-on-seven drills. Early indications appear to be a hamstring injury, as he was attended to by trainers on the field who wrapped it in ice, before he limped inside for further testing.

Wright has quietly become the stable force in Cleveland's secondary, posting four picks and 65 tackles last season. If he can't play for a few weeks, it appears like first-round rookie corner Joe Haden will be prematurely thrust into the starting role.

Haden has put together a quality camp but still has a long way to go. Starting opposite of Sheldon Brown, who some say has lost a step, will require spotless consistency out of Joe Haden to avoid being picked on by the cannons of the AFC North.

While it remains to be seen if these injuries will be long-term, for a team ravaged by the injured reserve list last season, it's never good news to already be hearing about this while still in training camp.

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