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Cleveland Browns

Mangini sticks to his story

By Marla Ridenour Published: October 12, 2009

Browns coach Eric Mangini stuck to his story regarding the shoulder injury suffered by rookie running back James Davis.

According to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, Davis suffered a torn labrum the week before the Cincinnati game in a post-practice ''opportunity period.'' Schefter said Davis was hit by a linebacker wearing pads when he was without pads.

Noted orthopedist James Andrews will perform surgery on Davis this week, Schefter said.

A league spokesman confirmed Sunday afternoon that it was investigating the incident. Schefter said the NFL Players Association may file a grievance, although Davis may hesitate for fear of losing his job. He was a sixth-round draft choice from Clemson and his base salary is $310,000 this season.

In his press conference Monday, Mangini repeated what he said about the report after Sunday's 6-3 victory at Buffalo.

''I talked to the league about it and feel comfortable with where we are on it,'' Mangini said. ''I like James Davis a lot. The last thing I would want to do is ever put him in a position or anybody in a position where they could get hurt. I've talked to a lot of people involved in it and like I said, we're going to keep working with the league on it, feel comfortable with where we're at.''

Given a chance to deny the story, Mangini repeated the ''comfortable'' line.

''I feel really good about where we're at and we're continuing to talk to the league on it,'' he said. ''But talking to the different people involved and feel comfortable with where we are.''

Mangini did say Davis would need surgery, but did not give a specific time.

Mangini said players are often divided into groups for opportunity periods.

''It's always controlled. Coaches are there for that reason,'' he said. ''It's a teaching period, a skill period.''

Asked if a player in pads would ever be allowed to hit a player without them, he said, ''We'd never do that. If something like that did happen, it shouldn't happen. It shouldn't ever happen.''

He said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used to participate in such post-practice sessions before he became the starter. Mangini isn't always on the field for them, he said.

''We had multiple ones going on at the same time,'' he said. ''Sometimes I stay out there, sometimes I don't depending on what I have to do post-practice.''

Asked why someone would put such a story out there, Mangini said, ''There's always different information that's out there. You go through the process and I have no idea.''

Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson did not see the incident, but seemed to feel it wouldn't be possible for a padded player to hit an unpadded one. He said the Browns can be fined if they're not wearing the proper pads at practice.

''It sounds crazy to me that something like that would be reported,'' Jackson said. ''But I wasn't there. I don't know exactly what happened.''

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