BEREA — Kellen Winslow pointed to the “U” on his right arm, part of a collage of tattoos across the tight end’s upper body.
“You can’t hold us down,” he said Friday.
Winslow was referring to former University of Miami Hurricanes, especially those in the NFL. They call Miami “The U” and stick together like a band of brothers.
Winslow’s pain tolerance will be tested as he tries to play with a partially dislocated left shoulder suffered vs. the Raiders. Winslow was limited in practice Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday. He’s listed as questionable on the injury report to face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
“We’ll see how practice goes and see how I feel for Sunday,” he said. “I think I’ve been through worse and I’ll be ready.”
Winslow received electronic stimulation during the week and wasn’t sure if he would need a harness in the game. He was able to make a circle with his arm by rotating the shoulder, but could be told by the medical staff to sit.
“Look at him. There’s nothing wrong with that guy,” quipped backup Steve Heiden as Winslow talked trash in the locker room.
Winslow was injured on his final catch Sunday vs. the Raiders, a 23-yarder that helped set up Phil Dawson’s blocked field-goal attempt. Winslow was driven into the ground by a Raider, but said the damage was done by a knee into the back.
He didn’t agree with coach Romeo Crennel’s characterization of the injury as a “mild subluxation.”
“It’s not very mild. It’s pretty good … it’s just lingering, I think that’s the best word for it,” Winslow said. “You know it’s just there.
“I’ve been through worse, what I had to go through last year with my knee.”
Winslow played nearly all of 2006 with his surgically repaired knee barking, and it needed microfracture surgery after the season. He didn’t practice much during the week but always made it onto the field for the games.
He was asked if the shoulder pain is tougher than the knee pain.
“Hell no. Not at all,” he said. “The knee last year was something I had to really overcome. I think I’ll be fine.
“You just gotta work your way around things. I just have to make plays. When it comes my way, it’s not like I can’t make the play because my shoulder hurts.”
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is also a former Miami Hurricane and as tough as they come. He had a partial shoulder subluxation in 2002 and missed 11 games.
“It’s all about how bad the injury was for Ray,” Winslow said. “It’s a very common injury. I just have to take it day to day.”
Lewis did a conference call with Browns media Wednesday. He had nothing but praise for Winslow.
“He’s the complete old-school football player,” Lewis said. “Maybe I’m a little biased because he went to the University of Miami, but that’s a football player.
“I’m just talking about someone who is not just riding off his talent. Everything you hear about this guy is about his work ethic. He wants to work to be the best. I love him.”
Winslow made two tough catches over the middle for 56 yards during the frantic final drive Sunday, including the one that brought the injury. He has 16 catches (tied for second among tight ends in the AFC) for 271 yards (second) and a touchdown. His 16.9 yards per catch ranks first.
The Browns use two-tight end formations often and would likely have to cut back if Winslow can’t go. Heiden is a valuable blocker and secondary receiving threat, but he doesn’t have the athleticism to affect a defense like Winslow does. Third tight end Darnell Dinkins is the best blocker among the group, but he’s not as versatile as Heiden.
The Browns move Winslow all over the formations, and would be severely restricted if he can’t go. Ravens linebacker Bart Scott plans on seeing Winslow.
“He’ll be up for it. I don’t want to hear that one,” Scott told the Baltimore Sun.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.