Joel Bitonio undergoes foot surgery, expected to make full recovery by 2017 season

Browns offensive lineman Joel Bitonio underwent foot surgery on Monday and is expected to make full recovery by start of 2017 season.

Bitonio, whom the team placed on injured reserve last week, suffered a mid-foot sprain against the Patriots on Oct. 9 and played through the injury. "It's unfortunate, Joel is one of our best players up there," head coach Hue Jackson said last Friday. "It makes it a little tough, but we'll find a way." Bitonio's setback is among an uncanny array of injuries suffered by the Browns so far this season.

Cleveland, who fell to the Titans on Sunday, is still without quarterbacks Robert Griffin III (shoulder), Josh McCown (shoulder/collarbone), wide receiver Corey Coleman (hand) and, most recently, safety Jordan Poyer, who remained in a Nashville area hospital for observation with a lacerated kidney as of Monday afternoon.

Bitonio, widely considered one of the league's best up-and-coming guards, met with reporters Friday and vowed to return as soon as possible.

"You never want to end the season hurt, and that is two years in a row for me now and that's just not something that I'm used to," said Bitonio, who was placed on injured reserve last December because of an ankle injury.

"I've never been hurt in my life until the last two years. It was just a couple freak accidents, but I'm going to come back and I'm going to work my tail off and do everything in my power to come back better next season than I did this year."

Without Bitonio, the Browns this past weekend placed Alvin Bailey at left guard against the Titans and welcomed the return of center Cameron Erving.

Bitonio, who was a key part in helping establishing Cleveland's powerful run game, said the setback is "crappy news, but it's part of the game."

"You get banged up out there. Hopefully, it is things you can play through most of the time, but this one is a little more serious than that," he continued.

"I'm looking forward to cheering my team on and helping these guys get in there."

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