Browns CB Baxter tears patellar tendons in both knees

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland's Gary Baxter tore patellar tendons
in both knees while trying to break up a pass in the first half of
Sunday's loss to Denver, a devastating injury for the cornerback
and another big loss for the Browns.

Baxter will have surgery on Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic to
repair both knees, coach Romeo Crennel said during his Monday news
conference. Crennel, who has been coaching for more than 35 years,
said he has never seen an injury like Baxter's.

Crennel estimated that Baxter would be sidelined for at least
one year.

"That's sad," linebacker Andra Davis said. "It's unfortunate.
I know how badly Gary wants to play."

Baxter, who missed 11 games last season with a torn chest muscle
and three games earlier this year with a similar injury, was
backpedalling when he planted near the 5-yard line and tried to
leap to knock down a pass intended for Javon Walker.

Baxter's legs buckled and he dropped to the ground. He
immediately grabbed his left knee and it was believed that was his
only injury. Baxter was lifted onto a cart and driven to the locker

Crennel said the 27-year-old Baxter told the team he intends to
return from the injuries.

"He wants to come back," Crennel said.

Baxter is the second Browns player to blow his patellar tendon since
July. On the first 11-on-11 play of training camp, center LeCharles Bentley, the club's top free agent signing, tore his left patellar
tendon and was lost for the season.

Baxter signed a five-year, $30 million contract, including a
$10 million signing bonus, as a free agent with Cleveland before
the 2005 season. He spent four seasons with Baltimore before
joining the Browns.

He didn't have injury problems until coming to Cleveland. In
three years at Baylor, he missed only one game with a hamstring
injury. While he was with the Ravens, Baxter played in 48
consecutive games.