The NFL is looking into the torn labrum suffered by Browns' rookie running back James Davis that ended his season and will require surgery, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday.
An NFL spokesman confirmed the league's scrutiny Sunday afternoon.
Citing two Browns witnesses and three league sources, Schefter said Davis was hurt in what coach Eric Mangini calls a post-practice ''opportunity period.'' Schefter said during a pass blocking drill, a Browns linebacker in pads "got frisky" and "trucked" Davis, who was not wearing pads.
Schefter said noted orthopedist James Andrews will perform surgery on Davis this week in Alabama.
Schefter said the league is investigating and the NFL Players Association could file a grievance.
"This is an outrage," a high-ranking NFLPA source told Schefter. "We have a no-pads rule for offseason activities. We've never seen a need to have a rule that if some guy has on pads, he can't take on a guy without pads. The commissioner's office needs to look into this."
But Davis, a sixth-round pick from Clemson, is reluctant to pursue the matter for fear of losing his job, Schefter said.
Davis originally hurt his shoulder in the season opener against Minnesota. It was a surprise when he was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 3.
Already this season, Mangini has been fined $25,000 for hiding quarterback Brett Favre's torn biceps tendon injury last year while coach of the New York Jets.
Asked on Thursday about the decision to place Davis on injured reserve, Mangini said, ''I think James has done a really nice job since he got here. You never want anybody to go on IR. It just was one of those situations where we had to. It didn’t look like it was going to get better and didn’t look like it was going to be really good for him or for us. By doing the things that we need to do medically now and going through that process now, he should come back that much stronger next season.
''I really like the things that he’s done, the way he contributed. Unfortunately it’s not going to be this year, but he’ll continue to grow.''