Browns' Heiden has surgery for bothersome bulging disc in back

Cleveland Browns tight end Steve Heiden recently underwent surgery to repair a bulging disc in his back and will be out for approximately three weeks, Heiden's agent Jack Wirth confirmed Tuesday night.

Heiden began feeling back pains during offseason workouts. The team initially planned to use treatment and rehab for the injury, but Heiden decided last week to have corrective surgery before the problem got worse.

"Steve decided to go ahead and do whatever procedure they had to do," Wirth said. "It was very simple, and they assured him that he could do everything in about three weeks."

Heiden is the No. 2 tight end in Cleveland's offense behind starter Kellen Winslow Jr. The nine-year veteran was used mostly as a run blocker but caught 12 passes for 104 yards last season. Heiden's best season was in 2005 when he caught 43 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns.

James Walker covers the NFL for ESPN.com.