The timetable for Hooper’s return is unclear, but it would not be surprising if he missed more than just the game against the Bengals.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski announced the news during his Friday media session as well as on the team’s website.
HC Kevin Stefanski meets with the media live:— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 23, 2020
Hooper was not at practice on Friday for what the Browns first reported as an illness, with Stefanski later explaining the diagnosis of appendicitis. While Stefanski said he does not expect Hooper to be out of action “for long,” the Browns could be without him until after the November 8 bye week.
That may depend on what type of appendectomy Hooper underwent. According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine website, there are two options to remove an appendix, with an open appendectomy, which involves making an incision about 2 to 4 inches long to remove the appendix, or a less invasive Laparoscopic appendectomy, where the appendix is removed through one of three small cuts.
During the recovery time following surgery, patients must keep their incision clean and dry, the incision and the abdominal muscles may ache, often after long periods of standing, and patients are advised to avoid any tiring activities, according to Johns Hopkins.
Hooper is a professional athlete, so his tolerance for pain and being in good shape should certainly work in his favor. But trying to play a football game a week after surgery might be a stretch, even for him.
Luckily the Browns have depth at the tight end position with rookie Harrison Bryant and David Njoku (good thing the Browns did not trade him for a seventh-round draft pick). And with only two games until the bye week, it may be in everyone’s interest to err on the side of caution and give Hooper a nice amount of time to heal up so he is ready for the second half of the season.