April 16, 2014

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Browns RB Montario Hardesty out, will miss weeks

BEREA — Rookie running back Montario Hardesty, a second-round pick expected to compete for a starting job, didn’t practice Saturday morning as the Browns opened training camp. He twisted his knee during rookie practices earlier in the week and will be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks.

“He twisted his knee in a drill the other day,” coach Eric Mangini said following the opening practice. “We probably won’t see him for a couple weeks. We’re taking it slow and being conservative. We’ll see where he is at that point.”

Hardesty’s college career at Tennessee was slowed by a series of injuries. He had knee surgery at Tennessee, but Mangini said this setback isn’t related.

“It’s nothing that is a pre-existing type situation,” Mangini said.

Other notes from the morning practice:

** Rookie cornerback Joe Haden, the No. 7 pick, has yet to sign a contract and wasn’t at camp. He is expected to receive more than $23 million guaranteed, based on the deals signed by the No. 8 pick, Rolando McClain, and last year’s No. 7 pick, Darrius Heyward-Bey.

** Offensive lineman Tony Pashos didn’t practice.

** Rookie safety T.J. Ward lined up with the first-team defense. The starting linebackers were Matt Roth and Scott Fujita on the outside, and D’Qwell Jackson and Chris Gocong inside.

** John St. Clair was with the starters at right tackle, and Floyd Womack at right guard. Second-year receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie were the starters.

** The team practiced in pads.

** There were some big hits in a linebacker-running back drill focusing on blitz pickup. Jackson ran over running back Peyton Hillis, Kaluka Maiava knocked over Chris Jennings and fullback Lawrence Vickers took Gocong to the ground.

** Linebacker Eric Barton, who ended last season on injured reserve and had neck surgery, practiced.

** Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy completed a pass deep down the sideline to Syndric Steptoe, drawing a low-five from offensive coordinator Colt McCoy.

** Tight end Evan Moore had an eventful practice. He dropped a ball early during a drill with no defense, then beat rookie safety Larry Asante in an 11-on-11 drill. He later made a one-handed catch, tipping the ball to himself and wrestled a deep pass away from Ward.

READ SUNDAY’S C-T FOR COMPLETE BROWNS COVERAGE.