REASONS TO SMILE AS THE SPRING PRACTICES CLOSE

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There were two great bits of news concerning the Browns on Saturday.

 

First, and most importantly, the club announced that rookie defensive end Myles Garrett has a lateral sprain of his foot and will be ready for the start of training camp in late July.

 

The fact that the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft – the guy who is a big piece of the Browns’ effort to get themselves turned around – has a foot problem and missed much of the spring work in the OTAs and mini camps, might not sound like a positive. But it is. It is huge.

 

It was feared that Garrett’s injury was much, much worse and might cause him to miss a portion of training camp, or perhaps all of it, and dare we say, maybe even the season itself. No one knew what was going on.

 

Garrett left Wednesday’s practice on the next-to-last day of the three-day, full-squad mini camp, limping off. The Browns said Wednesday they would update his condition on Thursday and did so, saying only that he was still being evaluated. That wasn’t an update. It was a cop-out.

 

And then on Friday, there was no news at all. That was even a bigger cop-out. No news was not perceived to be good news in this case. How badly was this guy hurt?

 

So, considering all that, then, it was a relief to hear that while Garrett is injured, he’s still going to be good to go in training camp, which is when the real important work begins. The spring stuff is no more than “two-below touch football,” as former Browns head coach Butch Davis used to term it.

 

Now here’s the other bit of good news: the Browns were open and honest on Saturday in announcing the full extent of Garrett’s injury and the timeline of his return. Hooray! Hooray!

 

Not just the Browns, but all these teams treat injury information like nuclear secrets. I get it if it’s leading up to a key game down the stretch in late December, with the AFC North title on the line. But it’s not. It’s June, with the start of the regular season a little less than three months away. That’s a long time.

 

Why the Browns think they have to hide this information – they’ve done so countless times before over the years, again just like everybody else – is ludicrous. I can guarantee that at this time of year, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh couldn’t care less about Myles Garrett’s injury status. They’ve got their own teams with which to fully concern themselves.

 

The fact that the Browns finally figured that out and told the media – and, more importantly, the fans – what the deal was with their most significant young player, is a breath of fresh air leading into this down period. It should leave a good taste in everybody’s mouths.

 

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