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Mental disorder sidelines Cleveland OT Tucker

Browns starting right tackle Ryan Tucker is battling an undisclosed mental disorder and hopes to return to football next season, the team said Friday.

The loss of Tucker is the latest setback for the banged-up Browns, whose shaky offensive line already is missing Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley, out all season with a knee injury suffered on the first day of training camp.

Tucker, one of the Browns' captains, has been a steady leader for a rebuilding team. He was the team's most productive offensive lineman the past four seasons.

The Browns refused to disclose more details about Tucker's illness, saying only that it was a common disorder not related to football.

Tucker is a 10-year veteran.

"It is a treatable disorder. Ryan has been battling this condition since before the season began, and has been actively receiving treatment,'' team physician Anthony Miniaci said in a statement.

Tucker missed two games this season but returned to the starting lineup Nov. 12. He played the first half of last week's game against Cincinnati before sitting out after halftime.

"Our concern is for him to get better and get his life back,'' Browns general manager Phil Savage said.

Leftwich out for year

JACKSONVILLE - The Jaguars placed quarterback Byron Leftwich on injured reserve, officially ending his season 10 days after ankle surgery.

Leftwich, in his fourth season, said he initially hurt his left ankle Oct. 1 at Washington, and the injury flared up nearly two weeks later. Leftwich convinced coaches he could play at Houston, then performed poorly in a loss.

He was benched the following week in favor of David Garrard, who has led the Jaguars to a 3-2 record since replacing Leftwich.

Leftwich had surgery Nov. 21 to clean up the area around the ankle.

BILLS: Running back Willis McGahee missed practice because of an illness, but he should be ready to play Sunday against San Diego, coach Dick Jauron said.

COLTS: Two key players are expected to return for Sunday's game at Tennessee. Receiver Brandon Stokley has been out since Oct. 8 with a sprained left knee. All-Pro safety Bob Sanders has missed eight of the past nine games with a swollen and sore right knee after arthroscopic surgery in September.

JETS: Bryan Thomas signed a contract extension. Thomas, a first-round pick out of UAB in 2002, is on pace for his best season. He has a career-high five sacks, including two Sunday against Houston, and has 58 tackles while splitting time at defensive end and linebacker.

RAIDERS: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, a former FSU standout, has a tight lower back and might miss a game for the first time since 2001 on Sunday against Houston.

VIKINGS: Nose tackle Pat Williams (knee) was downgraded to doubtful on the injury report, putting him in jeopardy of missing his first game in five seasons.

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