CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland Browns starting right tackle Ryan Tucker is battling an undisclosed mental disorder and hopes to return to football next season, the team said Friday.
The loss of Tucker is the latest setback for the banged-up Browns, whose shaky offensive line already is missing Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley, out all season with a knee injury suffered on the first day of training camp.
Tucker, one of the Browns' captains, has been a steady leader for a rebuilding team. He was the team's most productive offensive lineman the past four seasons.
The Browns refused to disclose more details about Tucker's illness, saying only that it was a common disorder not related to football. The 10-year veteran hoped to return to football next season, the team said in a statement.
"It is a treatable disorder. Ryan has been battling this condition since before the season began, and has been actively receiving treatment. At this time, it is in his best interest to focus entirely on his medical treatment and concentrate on his recovery," team physician Anthony Miniaci said in a statement.
Tucker was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list on Wednesday. He missed two games earlier in the season but returned to the starting lineup on Nov. 12. He played the first half of last week's game against Cincinnati before sitting out after halftime.
On Thursday, Browns general manager Phil Savage said he supported Tucker.
"Our concern is for him to get better and get his life back. He's really a good person and it's been a struggle. He's going to get through it," Savage said.
Miniaci said the team is optimistic Tucker will make a full recovery and play next season.
"Ryan has shown a significant amount of courage while battling this disorder," the doctor said.