It was a good news day on Monday for the Cleveland Browns.
That is because the team welcomed injured linebacker Mack Wilson, along with cornerbacks Greedy Williams and Kevin Johnson, back to practice.
Wilson, Williams and Johnson were all limited to individual drills as the Browns prepare for Sunday’s home game against Washington, and head coach Kevin Stefanski said the team will monitor their progress throughout the week, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“We try to treat it case by case. And so many of those injuries are different when they are coming back. It could be a muscle injury; it could be a bone injury. I mean so you have to really work with medical staff and figure out what the guy needs to get ready. And then like always have to protect players from themselves because if you ask a player if he is ready, most of the time they are going say yes, so you have to really rely on the medical professionals there.”
Johnson’s injury may have been the most scary as he suffered a lacerated liver while breaking up a pass during training camp.
The randomness of the injury left him upset, but his mood changed as he started to heal, Johnson told clevelandbrowns.com:
“I was so upset about that just because I could not believe that it was such a random injury. It was not like I went out there and pulled my hamstring or something like that. It was like I didn’t really know. ‘Wow, I lacerated my liver.’ I was pretty upset. I was pissed off more than anything. As the time went on, I was realizing that it was not too bad and I was healing pretty quick. I was pretty excited about that and I was looking forward for it to get better.”
While Wilson’s injury - a hyperextended knee - is more common, the early possibility of having to undergo season-ending surgery was hard to deal with, Wilson told clevelandbrowns.com:
“Even when I went down that day, I was just thinking to myself, ‘Why me?’ I thought I was going to be done for the season with all the pain I was feeling. I constantly started praying when I got on the cart just to get back good news after I have my MRI and things like that. I have been working extremely hard every day with treatment and doing all of the right things so that I can come back. They were saying possibly six to eight weeks so I was just telling myself every day, ‘I am a warrior. I am built for this. I know I will be back sooner than six to eight weeks.’ That was my goal to take it one day at a time and do everything they told me to do, and now, I am here today.”
Williams’ injury has been perhaps the strangest as the Browns have continuously been vague about what happened, other than to report that Williams has an injured shoulder.
The second-year cornerback stuck to that script on Monday when asked about his injury, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“It was just a hard hit and things did not come back how I wanted to so they pulled me and I have been doing testing and things like that. A lot of hospital appointments just trying to see know what is really going on with the shoulder. More than anything, I have just been rehabbing, staying in shape, doing a lot of conditioning work, lifting and things like that. Just keeping the body ready whenever I am available”
Wilson, Williams and Johnson still likely have a ways to go before they can hit the field for a game, but having all three back on the field is a welcome relief to a Browns defense that needs to get its injured starters back to health.