Cleveland Browns cornerback Neighborhood Denzel closed the team’s final minicamp training session in mid-June with an injury scare.
The newly extended cornerback suffered a foot injury which forced him to leave the training ground and not return.
Fortunately, an MRI showed no structural damage, so Ward is considered good for boot camp when it opens in late July.
— Brandon Little (@BrandonLittleFB) June 17, 2022
So is that a non-issue or should fans be worried?
It’s actually a bit of both, and here are the reasons why.
1. This particular injury seems minor but…
This particular injury appears to be a non-issue; however, this is the number of injuries the Browns deal with each season, especially when they start in the preseason.
Williams suffered a nerve injury in his shoulder and Delpit tore his Achilles tendon.
Worse still, both players were injured in the same practice.
Grant Delpit isn’t the only Browns DB injured in practice. CB Greedy Williams suffered a shoulder injury. When asked if Williams will miss a lot of time with his shoulder injury, Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said, “I would say we’ll see. Still under evaluation.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 25, 2020
Although injuries are part of the game and all teams deal with them, there is still a level of control that should be applied to the strength and conditioning departments of NFL teams, especially the Browns.
2. Non-contact injuries happen too often for browns
hunt kareem suffered a non-contact leg injury last season that caused him to miss half of games.
Kevin Stefanski says Kareem Hunt suffered a calf injury and says it’s not Achilles related
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 17, 2021
Donovan Peoples Jones suffered a groin injury in a pregame warmup against the Denver Broncos last season.
#Brunettes just announced that WR Donovan Peoples-Jones suffered a groin injury during pre-match warm-ups and is now in doubt to play.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 22, 2021
Were these chance injuries inevitable or is there something more?
3. Playing through injuries is another issue
There were too many examples last season of players trying to play through injury.
#Brunettes QB Baker Mayfield, who wore a shoulder harness to play, suffered a partial labral tear in his left shoulder on September 19 against the #Texans, say the sources. No surgery is required at this time. He was on the report after the injury and didn’t miss a training session.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 7, 2021
#Brunettes Coach Kevin Stefanski says OT Jedrick Wills struggles with an ankle injury on a daily basis. X-rays were negative. Encouraging.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 13, 2021
Whatever the reasons these players kept playing, it’s usually not a viable solution, especially when injuries occur early in the season, as the injuries to Mayfield and Wills did.
4. New facilities could help
We know the Browns are expanding facilities for players to train and recover.
John Johnson III has spoken about having yoga available for his recovery when he played with the Los Angeles Rams, something the Browns didn’t offer when he arrived in 2021.
#Brunettes S John Johnson III said he told the senior team they needed to be more proactive in preventing soft tissue injuries. Suggested yoga and stated relationship with training staff should be better.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) January 10, 2022
The team said certain services were prohibited during COVID-19; yoga was one of them.
It looks like Browns players will have plenty of other therapies to choose from when the new state-of-the-art regeneration zone is complete.
Browns is building a new regeneration zone to improve player training and recovery Sounds really cool! I hope the@Brownscan offer fans a “virtual tour” of this new facility. #Brunettes https://t.co/f6K4N72eMp
— BrownsTherapy (@BrownsTherapy) April 21, 2022
The installation is expected to be complete by the time training camp opens in late July.
Any off-season injuries are important because it’s not the time when players are in the pads or in full contact, so injuries shouldn’t happen at all.
In Ward’s case, the Browns just signed him to a monster contract extension, and they need him to be healthy and successful in order to make a 2022 postseason streak.