Scott Has Season-Ending Surgery

Darnay Scott of the Cincinnati Bengals underwent surgery for a broken leg, an injury that will sideline the star receiver for the season.

The Bengals said Wednesday the operation in Cincinnati went smoothly and Scott could begin therapy on his left leg next week. A rod was inserted next to the tibia, the larger bone in the lower leg.

Trainer Paul Sparling said Scott will remain in the hospital another day or two. He will stay in Cincinnati a couple of weeks before going home to San Diego.

"They feel as though they got a good repair," he said. "Now it's up to the body to heal."

Scott is one of the Bengals' fastest players, and Sparling said the 28-year-old wide receiver could have a difficult time regaining full speed.

The injury is another setback for a team that has known little but misery the past decade.

"I'm not feeling too good right now," coach Bruce Coslet said, pausing for deep breaths between sentences. "This is a shock to our team."

Players slammed their helmets, lowered their heads and gathered in prayer after Scott broke both bones in his lower leg Tuesday while blocking on a rushing play during practice.

"It's going to be a very big challenge for him to come back and perform at the level he needs to," Sparling said.

The Bengals, who open their exhibition season Friday, were already limited by injuries, inexperience and a holdout.

Scott became the Bengals' leading receiver after Carl Pickens was released just before the start of camp and signed with Tennessee last week. Scott had 68 catches for 1,022 yards last year, and has 329 receptions for 5,156 yards in six seasons.

The team's top five remaining receivers rookies Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans, second-year players Craig Yeast and Damon Griffin and fourth-year player James Hundon have a total of 43 NFL catches among them.

Second-year quarterback Akili Smith is still learning and running back Corey Dillon is holding out, leaving unproven backups at that position as well. The Bengals were counting on a big year from Scott.

"The team was real shook up after the practice," Smith said. "It brought tears to my eyes because he's a big part of our offense, a real big part.

"He's one of the best receiver in the league and the No. 1 receiver on our team, so somebody's got to step up and start making some plays. (The receivers) are going to have big shoes to fill."

Scott left the field in an ambulance after players and coaches heard a sickening snap and saw him fall. He was blocking cornerback Robert Bean on a running play when another player got blocked into him, landing on the back of his leg.

"We thought he was just playing around and would get right back up," Hundon said. "But when he laid down and rolled over to his side, we knew it was pretty serious."

Scott had been expected to start on one side with Warrick, a first-round draft pick out of Florida State, on the other. Coslet said Yeast, Griffin and Hundon will compete for Scott's starting spot, with Yeast starting Friday in Buffalo.

Warrick, Scott's roommate, was with him when the trainers told him the leg was broken.

"I saw him put his head down and it almost brought tears to my eyes," Warrick said. "I hate to see that happen to anybody.

"He was somebody that I was learning from day in and day out as far as running my routes and coming off the ball. We'll pray for him and hope that everything will work out."

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