BEREA, Ohio -- Stretched out on a flatbed cart, LeCharles Bentley
covered his face with a towel to hide his disappointment and tears.
This wasn't the homecoming he had planned.
His first season with the Cleveland Browns
ended before it began.
Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowl center and one of the team's prized free agent signings this winter, sustained a season-ending injury to his left knee Thursday in the first 11-on-11 drill of training camp. The loss is a crushing blow for a club that has been cursed by major injuries the past few seasons but has improved its roster and has high hopes for 2006.
"He was the face of our free agent class," general manager Phil Savage said. "We feel terrible for LeCharles, but life goes on."
Savage said Bentley tore his patellar tendon and will undergo surgery as early as Friday. Savage declined to say if Bentley's tear was partial or complete and would not speculate on a time frame for recovery.