Mack will have appendix removed

BY foxsports • October 3, 2011

Browns Pro Bowl center Alex Mack underwent emergency surgery to have his appendix removed, one day after he felt sick but played all 87 snaps in Cleveland's loss to Tennessee.

Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said Mack came to the team's facility on Monday showing appendicitis symptoms. Mack had ''soreness and the tenderness that would point to that,'' Shurmur said.

Also, Browns cornerback Joe Haden, arguably the team's best player this season, sprained his left knee in Cleveland's 31-13 loss. Shurmur said an MRI revealed the injury and he expects Haden to ''miss some time.''

Wide receiver/return specialist Josh Cribbs also sprained his knee, but Shurmur characterized the injury to the Browns' biggest playmaker as ''slight.''

Haden's injury could be more severe. He was seen wearing a knee brace around the Browns' headquarters, and Shurmur said Haden will not practice Tuesday.

Mack had his operation on Monday and Shurmur doesn't know how long the 25-year-old, who made the Pro Bowl last year in his second NFL season, will be sidelined.

''We'll see how it goes,'' Shurmur said. ''I wouldn't want to speculate on time until after he has the surgery, so we'll find out.''

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Mack hasn't missed a single play since the Browns drafted him in the first round in 2009, starting 36 consecutive games.

On Sunday, Mack never came off the field during the Browns' 31-13 loss to the Titans.

''He's tough as nails because he was feeling a little queasy,'' said right tackle Tony Pashos, who watched a game on TV with Mack on Sunday night. ''He was talking about some issues then, too, and I was like maybe it's just something you ate.''

The Browns (2-2) have a bye this week, which will give Mack more time to heal. As far as Pashos is concerned, Mack doesn't need any rest.

''The guy is tough,'' Pashos said. ''I don't expect him to miss any time. He's played with some injuries before and I think he'll be all right.

''I'm not a doctor, but I know Alex.''

Steve Vallos is listed as Mack's backup on Cleveland's depth chart. Shurmur also named starting right guard Shawn Lauvao and backup John Greco possible replacements.

Haden has been credited with eight pass breakups this season, and losing him for any length of time would be a devastating blow to the Browns.

Haden appeared to first hurt himself on a punt by Tennessee in the first quarter. He was checked by trainers on the bench and returned to the game. Later, Haden raced down the field to tackle Titans wide receiver Nate Washington short of the goal line after a 57-yard play. He came off on the next play, when Tennessee scored.

Browns rookie defensive back Buster Skrine said Haden was in good spirits on Monday.

''He's always smiling and all that other good stuff,'' Skrine said. ''So it seems like he'll be all right. ... He hurt it and he just kept on playing. We didn't even know he hurt it. Being the guy that he is and doing everything for the team, he stayed in the game.''

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