BEREA - Gary Baxter's comeback trail from double knee surgery has hit a roadblock.
Baxter, who tore both patella tendons Oct. 22, 2006 defending a pass in a game against the Denver Broncos, had surgery Tuesday to clean out cartilage in one of the knees. It's not known how long he'll be out of practice.
Baxter made the 53-man roster at the start of last season but was on the eight-man inactive list for the first six weeks of the season. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve Oct. 23.
Agreeing to switch from cornerback to safety this season, Baxter continued to rehabilitate the knees during the offseason. He was on the practice field early in training camp but has missed time recently because of swelling in the knee.
Crennel made a point of singling out a play Baxter made in a practice last week during a team meeting. Baxter broke up a pass intended for tight end Brad Cieslak.
''He's worked really hard to get to this point where he's back on the field,'' Crennel said. ''A couple of days ago there was a pass thrown over the middle. He broke for the ball and got his hands on it. I showed it to the team because I thought it was meaningful because it was two years since he had been in a competitive situation.''
This could be Baxter's final chance to play in the NFL. Crennel said Baxter hasn't said anything about wanting to retire.
''This is going to slow him down a little bit, and he's disappointed about it,'' Crennel said. ''He's matured quite a bit, and he'll be able to handle it. If he can handle two patella tendons on the same play, he can handle the piece of cartilage they'll take out of the knee.''
LOOKING AHEAD: None of the players who have missed significant practice time will play Thursday against the New York Jets in a preseason game. Among those that won t suit up are tight end Steve Heiden, offensive lineman Seth McKinney, fullback Lawrence Vickers, linebacker Beau Bell and receiver Kevin Kasper.
Crennel wasn't certain if tight end Kellen Winslow will suit up. Winslow has been out with a sore hamstring.
Returner/receiver Joshua Cribbs didn't do much in the scrimmage last Friday because of a sore hamstring, but he's expected to play. Cribbs was held out of the morning practice Monday but worked out in the afternoon.
NOT SURE: Bell missed the Tuesday practice with a sore right knee. He practiced Monday morning but the knee was heavily wrapped as he sat out the afternoon session.
''He twisted a knee, so they kept him inside today,'' Crennel said. ''They'll look at it and make a decision if anything needs to be done.''
Crennel wasn't certain if the injury is to the same knee that Bell hurt during practices for the Senior Bowl last January.
FANTASY TIME: While talking to reporters for several minutes after Tuesday's practice, running back Jamal Lewis was asked which running back he'd select if he owned a fantasy football team?
''Adrian Peterson,'' Lewis answered. ''He's got that upright running style like Eric Dickerson, Jim Browns and O.J. Simpson.''
CAMPING OUT: Quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn were inconsistent in practice. Anderson did connect on a 45-yard pass to receiver Braylon Edwards, who continues to be the standout of camp. Anderson followed that by connecting with Donte Stallworth on a short touchdown pass. Quinn threw a perfect strike of about 20 yards to receiver Steve Sanders along the sideline. ... Cornerback AJ Davis, who's had trouble guarding Edwards, intercepted a Quinn pass intended for Travis Wilson. The play was made easier when Wilson fell to the ground making a cut to the outside. ... Kasper suffered a setback Monday trying to return from a hamstring injury. He sat out the Tuesday practice. ... The players will be off the field today and Friday. The next practice is Saturday from 2:30-4:30 p.m.