UPDATED with news that Thomas suffered just a sprained neck.
The Cleveland Browns had their first real injury scare of training camp on Monday.
Defensive end Chad Thomas suffered a neck injury during a team drill and had to be removed on a backboard, according to numerous media reports.
#Browns DE Chad Thomas placed on a backboard and carted off field— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) August 12, 2019
Andrew Gribble, a senior staff writer for the team’s website, updated the situation about an hour later via Twitter:
Browns DE Chad Thomas left practice with a neck injury. Was immobilized out of caution. Has feeling in movement in all extremities. Taken to University Hospitals for further evaluation and testing.— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) August 12, 2019
The news was even better later in the day when the Browns issued an update saying that Thomas suffered a sprained neck and had returned to the team’s training facility by 5 p.m. When he can return to practice remains to be seen on a day-to-day basis, head coach Freddie Kitchens said via clevelandbrowns.com:
“Just a precautionary to make sure everything is OK. Anytime something happens like a stinger, or anything dealing with any issues like that, you want to be more cautious than anything and that is what we are doing.
“You do not want to see your teammate laying there. But again, the protocol from anything like that is sometimes it looks worse than it is, not to make any light of it. It is a serious nature. (Vice President, Player Health and Development Joe Sheehan) and his staff did everything to protocol to make sure that there was no damage done after the fact.”
Thomas is in his second year with the Browns and working to claim a backup spot at defensive end. He appeared in just four games as a rookie.