Defensive end Robaire Smith has officially been cleared to play in the NFL in 2011, agent Michael Harrison said Monday.
That was welcome news for Smith, 33, who missed the final 11 games with what was diagnosed as a spinal bruise. Smith has been working out the last couple of months with the expectation he would get final clearance.
"Glad to be back!!" he said in a text message. "Can't wait."
Smith is scheduled to be a free agent whenever the labor impasse ends. He spent the last four seasons with the Browns and has said he would like to return.
Dr. Robert Watkins, a renowned spine surgeon in California, gave Smith the green light to return and sent the results to the Browns.
At the scouting combine last month, general manager Tom Heckert said the Browns would be interested in Smith returning, depending on their medical evaluation.
Smith has extensive experience playing tackle in a 4-3 scheme, which the Browns are switching to under new coordinator Dick Jauron.
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