The NFL Players Association will send representatives to Cleveland Wednesday to meet with Browns players and investigate running back Jamal Lewis' charges that they're being overworked by coach Eric Mangini, Jay Glazer of Fox reported Sunday.
''The NFLPA wants to get to the bottom of exactly what Eric Mangini is doing with these guys,'' Glazer said on Fox's pre-game show. ''Not sure what they can really do, but they’re going out to see if there is any way they can protect them.''
Last Thursday, Lewis said Mangini's long, physical practices are leaving nothing left on Sundays. He said he'd practiced more in pads through eight games than he had in three or four years in Baltimore.
Mangini responded Friday by saying that his practices are two hours, plus a 30-minute walk-through, and are extended only when mistakes are made and plays must be repeated.
Glazer said Mangini's players are ''absolutely exhausted.''
''It’s not just Jamal Lewis,'' Glazer said. ''It’s funny, Eric Mangini said this week, 'I just practice these guys for two hours.' The players I talked to said, 'Two hours? What practices is he talking about?' He’s giving these guys three hours. Sometimes, like this past week, one guy said practice was for three hours and 25 minutes in full pads, they were completely exhausted.
''A big problem is that they’re so exhausted that after practice Mangini has these extra reps and that’s when guys are really getting hurt. In fact one guy shredded his patella this week. They think it's career-ending.''
That was practice squad defensive end Keith Grennan, who was injured Thursday in a post-practice opportunity period that gives extra reps to young players. Grennan will undergo surgery Monday.