The Cleveland Browns have been hit hard by injuries at the center position.
First, projected starter Nick Harris went down with a knee injury during Friday's preseason opener. The injury is expected to end Harris' season.
Then, rookie seventh-rounder Dawson Deaton had to be carted off the field during today's practice session. Immediately, there was concern about the extent of Deaton's injury.
Sure enough, the Texas Tech product suffered a torn ACL, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
With Harris and Deaton both out of commission, Ethan Pocic is next in line for the Browns.
J.C. Tretter, last year's starter, was released by the Browns in a cost-cutting move earlier in the offseason. He remains on the market, but at least one of his former teammates is wondering if Tretter is being blackballed because of his work as president of the players' union.
“I don’t hear those conversations all the time, but I think when you have a guy that’s a top-five, top-10 center in the league, and he’s not on a roster and he’s the NFLPA president, maybe some of the owners don’t appreciate what he brings to the table on certain topics where he’s trying to protect player safety and things of that nature," said Browns guard Joel Bitonio.
Cleveland's second preseason game is set for this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.