Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Fujita's season, and perhaps career, is over
By Jamison Hensley
A season to forget is over for Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, who will be placed on injured reserve Wednesday. This also could mark the end of his 11-year NFL career.
Fujita is dealing with a neck injury that the team and doctors believe could stop him from playing again, league sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen earlier this month.
If this was Fujita's final season, it couldn't have gone much worse. He originally received a three-game suspension for his alleged involvement in the Saints' bounty scandal and that was eventually reduced to one game. Fujita has repeatedly said he never participated in the Saints' pay-for-hits program and recently blasted NFL commissioner for "an absolute abuse of power."
Now, with the possibility of Fujita never playing again, the fight to get rid of the suspension is now a matter of principle. Fujita has maintained that his goal is to clear his name.
I was surprised that the Browns stuck with Fujita this long. While he has always been known as a strong leader, he never fit into the Browns' youth movement. He struggled with injuries (missing 16 of 39 games) and was never an impact player when he was out on the field. This year, Fujita was more of a distraction with his ongoing battle with the league.
In other Browns news, defensive tackle Phil Taylor (pectoral muscle) is expected to practice for the first time this season but he is not expected to play Sunday. Also, left guard Jason Pinkston, who was recently placed on injured reserve with a blood clot in his lung, has been released from the hospital.