Brown works out, but future unsure

Orlando Brown has been exercising on a stationary bicycle lately but the odds he will play tackle when the Cleveland Browns start training camp this week still seem long.

There's even a chance Brown's playing career could be over -- the result of a freak accident in which the player known as "Zeus" was hit in the right eye by a weighted penalty flag.

Browns president Carmen Policy said he expects to have a new medial report on Brown by Thursday at the latest.

"We're just going to try to work it out in a way that's truly in the best interest of the player," Policy said. "We feel it can be mutually beneficial as well."

Brown was injured during a Dec. 19 game against Jacksonville when referee Jeff Triplette hit him with a flag weighted with ball bearings.

Brown shoved Triplette to the ground as he left the field.

The lineman said his reaction came out of fear because his father was blinded by glaucoma.

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue suspended Brown but lifted the penalty in March.

Pain and pressure around the eye have prevented the six-foot-seven, 350-pounder from working out for months. He failed a physical last month.

However, in a pre-training camp news conference, Policy said that Brown has been able to work out for at least 30 minutes at a time on a bike in the past week.

Policy stopped short, however, of saying Brown's condition was improving.

Brown signed a six-year, $27 million free-agent contract before last season.

If doctors won't allow him to play, Brown could be waived.

He also could go on injured reserve, which would keep him out for the entire 2000 season, or be placed on the physically unable to perform list, which would allow Brown to rejoin the team if cleared to play.

Brown has met with O.J. Simpson defence attorney Johnnie Cochran about the possibility of suing the league if his eye doesn't improve.

Brown's agent, Tom Condon, did not return a call Monday seeking comment.