After fearing the rookie defensive end might be out for a significant period, the Browns announced Saturday that Garrett has a lateral sprain in his left foot but that he’s expected to be ready for training camp next month.
Garrett was injured Wednesday during the late stages of practice, going down without any contact while rushing quarterback Brock Osweiler during a two-minute drill. Garrett’s reaction — he put his hands to his head, grabbed his foot in pain — as well as his frustration while being evaluated by a trainer, seemed to indicate a serious injury.
However, the Browns said Dr. Robert Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist with OrthoCarolina, agreed with a preliminary diagnosis by team physician Dr. James Voos of University Hospitals that Garrett only has a sprain. He’s in a walking boot and will receive treatment before the Browns open training camp on July 27.
Garrett was slowed by an unspecified injury earlier this spring, but his new injury is not believed to be related to that one.
A team source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the Browns do not believe Garrett suffered major damage to his foot.
The Browns are expecting big things from Garrett after signing him to a fully guaranteed four-year contract worth $30.4 million last month. The deal included a $20 million signing bonus and a club option for a fifth year.
Needing an impact player following a 1-15 season, the Browns took the former Texas A&M star first overall in April’s NFL draft. Garrett recorded 32+ sacks in three seasons with the Aggies. He got 8+ last season despite playing much of the year with a severely sprained left ankle and being double- and triple-teamed on some plays.
The Browns have been impressed with the soft-spoken Garrett so far during their spring workouts.
“He has done a great job,” said new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. “It is still way early, but you guys are going to see a pretty good football player when he gets the chance to get out there and go. I have a big smile on my face, and I will just wait and let him show everybody before I talk about it.”
There were initial concerns Garrett might be seriously injured, adding to Cleveland’s legacy of untimely injuries. In 2000, the team selected Penn State defensive end Courtney Brown, a player with a similar style to Garrett’s, but his career was sabotaged by injuries. And just last season, the Browns lost their starting guards to serious foot injuries, and quarterback Robert Griffin III missed most of the year after breaking his shoulder in the opener.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.