Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods was likely one of the happiest people in the organization this past offseason.
Not only did the Browns sign safety John Johnson III in free agency, but the club was going to have safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. for a full season and were expecting safety Grant Delpit to return from the Achilles injury that forced him to miss all of the 2020 season.
That trio would allow Woods to employ his favored defense featuring three safeties, which in turn would help the defense reach a level that, while not on par with the offense, would be good enough to drive the Browns on a deep playoff run.
But as poet Robert Burns famously wrote, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” and that has been the case so far in training camp for the Browns.
#Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said CB Denzel Ward had normal rest day today and S Grant Delpit is dealing with hamstring injury.— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) August 8, 2021
The defense has been without both Harrison and Delpit for the past week as they are both dealing with hamstring injuries. While obviously not as severe as the Achilles injury that Delpit suffered a year ago in training camp, or the shoulder injury that knocked Harrison out for four games last season, it is still a rough go at the moment for the club.
When asked about Delpit’s injury before the Orange & Brown Practice on Sunday, head coach Kevin Stefanksi would only say he “hopes” that Delpit returns soon, but did not offer an update on Harrison’s status.
The Browns are taking it slow with Delpit and Harrison in the hopes that the hamstring issues won’t return once the regular season begins on September 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
If not, Woods will be forced to air a repeat of last season with safeties Sheldrick Redwine and Jovante Moffatt seeing more playing time than is ideal.