Carrying his cleats but still without pads or his orange helmet, Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards emerged from Cleveland's locker room on Tuesday and slowly strolled onto the practice field, walking a few feet behind new coach Eric Mangini.

Edwards then took a familiar turn: To the stationary bikes.

The wide receiver missed his fourth day of practice with an injury growing more mysterious with each passing day.

Mangini, who has refused to reveal the nature of Edwards' injury or a timetable for his return, reiterated that Cleveland's top playmaker will join his teammates for drills when he is medically cleared by the Browns' training staff.

"We'll keep evaluating it and as soon as they do, he'll be out there," Mangini said.

It's remains unclear the "it" Mangini is referring to. Neither Cleveland's first-year coach nor Edwards has offered any specifics on the injury, which is assumed to be the same one that sidelined the former Pro Bowler during the team's mini-camp in June.

There have been reports that he hurt his ankle playing basketball.

On Saturday's opening day of camp, Edwards redirected questions about his injury to Mangini.

How did you get hurt, Braylon?

"Talk to coach Mangini about that and see what he says," Edwards said.

Was it playing hoops?

"Talk to coach," he said.


"He has an injury," Mangini said.

Edwards was placed on the "active non-football injury" list last week, one day after he was late reporting to the Browns' first camp under Mangini and after failing his physical. Edwards had been told to arrive early with the team's rookies because of his injury, but the talented 26-year-old, who has had his share of problems during four seasons in Cleveland, was tardy.

Mangini is attempting to instill discipline in his team, prompting speculation that he's keeping Edwards out of practice as punishment.

There is also the possibility the Browns could be trying to deal Edwards, whose name previously was mentioned in trade rumors with the New York Giants before April's draft.

Whatever Edwards' injury is, he's not been favoring his ankle or legs while working on the side with Cleveland's conditioning coaches. In addition to riding the bike, he has stepped through an agility ladder, worked on running pass routes and run sprints.

Mangini said Edwards is not allowed to wear full pads while on the injured list.

On Monday, Edwards posted a message on his Facebook page that pointed to him getting back on the field soon.

"Kid looked great over on the side today," he said. "... feeling really optimistic about my chance."

Edwards was getting treatment and was not available after a request by The Associated Press for a post-practice interview on Tuesday.

Mangini's policy regarding player injuries is to say as little as possible. He explained his reason for secrecy as not wanting to give the opposing team a competitive advantage, which would be a viable explanation in Edwards' case if the season opener wasn't 40 days away.

"One of the things that we try to do in terms of injuries is not set any timetables because everything is different and it's important to take into account that aspect of it and there's also the competitive disadvantage," he said. "The more that you have to (prepare) for someone, the better off that team is."

With tight end Kellen Winslow now in Tampa Bay, Edwards is the Browns' only true downfield threat and they are counting on him to have a big season.

After catching 80 passes for 1,293 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007, his production fell to 55 catches for 873 yards and three TDs last season. His three 100-yard-plus games all came on national TV, leading some to wonder if he always gave his best.

The former No. 3 overall pick missed Cleveland's final three exhibition games last season after teammate Donte Stallworth accidentally spiked Edwards, who was running sprints in his socks. The lost practice time seemed to hurt him once the season started, and he finished with a league-high 16 drops.

Edwards is in the final year of his contract and knows he needs a bounce-back season.

"The big thing for me this year is just approach it with a solid attitude, a fresh start," he said Saturday. "It's a new regime. Even myself, going out there and having fun with the game and just doing things, controlling things, I can control. Not trying to worry about the other aspects, whatever else surrounds the game."

Right now, getting on the field would be a good start.