Bryant lost for rest of season

Posted Dec 5, 2013

Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant will have a procedure this week to correct an irregular heartbeat.

The Cleveland Browns placed defensive lineman Desmond Bryant on non-football illness list because of an irregular heartbeat, and the 6-foot-6, 310-pound veteran will miss the balance of the season after undergoing a procedure to correct the problem later this week.

Originally, Bryant had an episode in Oakland last season, and a second earlier this year in a win over the Buffalo Bills. After reporting symptoms Monday, Bryant was evaluated and the procedure was the next step in treating the irregular heartbeat.

“It’s disappointing,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “He’s been playing at a high level for us and certainly, right now, the most important thing is for him to get that taken care of and be ready to go. We’re expecting a full recovery.”

Bryant registered a career-best 45 total tackles, including 23 solo stops and 22 assists, as well as 3.5 sacks through 12 starts for the Browns this season. He started the season strong by collecting a pair of sacks against the Miami Dolphins and extended his consecutive games with at least a 1/2 sack to seven straight contests.

The streak started in 2012 when he was a member of the Raiders, and continued through the first three weeks of the season.

“I’m sure this is more of a precautionary deal with him,” Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton said. “We monitor players’ conditioning, from weight to heart rate to everything. I’m sure that this is just something that came up, and they’re doing the right thing, medically, for him.

“You want players to be healthy, and we’re taking care of that step for him.”

With Bryant out of the lineup for the remainder of the season, second-year end Billy Winn and rookie lineman Armonty Bryant could see an increase in playing time.

“Depth is very important in this league,” Horton said. “You can look around the league, and if you lose a top player, it’s hard in this league. If you have quality depth, as some teams have, for us, I think we just keep going.

“I believe that we won’t miss a beat. Is he a good player? Is he one of our better players? Yes, he is, but I also have trust, faith and belief that the guys behind him are really just starters-in-waiting. It’s their time now.”

And the opportunity to contribute on a more regular basis has not gone unnoticed by the younger Bryant, who has two sacks in eight games for the Browns.

“We’ve just got to step it up, keep that level that he had on the field and continue to produce,” Armonty Bryant said. “We’ve all got to bring something to the table. I definitely feel like it is (my chance), and hopefully, I just take advantage of the opportunity.

“I’ve been dreaming about this for a while, so when the opportunity came up, I just had to be ready. I’m excited for the challenge. I’m ready to step up to the plate and see what I can do.”

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