Cleveland Browns fans, you have our sympathy. Your run of bad luck continues.
On Saturday, the Browns lost fourth-round draft pick Howard Wilson to a fractured patella, or broken kneecap, an injury that could keep him off the field for his entire rookie season.
The injury happened during the second day of the team’s rookie mini-camp, which by NFL collective bargaining agreement rule is non-contact.
In a statement released through the Browns, Wilson, a 6-foot cornerback from Houston, called the injury a “freak thing.”
“It’s disappointing but this is a part of playing football. It was kind of a freak thing. I was just running around and my knee just kind of locked up on me,” Wilson said. “I didn’t think much of it but the training staff wanted to get the proper testing so I got the MRI. I’m a positive person so I will have the surgery, work hard in my rehab and look forward to getting back out there and helping this team win some games.”
“It’s unfortunate. He’ll be out for a while, significant time,” Cleveland coach Hue Jackson. “So we’ll deal with it accordingly. His spirits are high. He understands it. He understands what he’s dealing with. He’s already started to the process of getting his mind beyond that so he can get himself back as soon as he can.”
The Browns traded up to take Wilson, sending two fifth-round picks to Denver to select Wilson at 126 overall; Cleveland also received a seventh-round pick in that deal.
Jackson said losing Wilson is a significant blow, and will rely on the team’s head of football operations, Sashi Brown, to find another corner if needed.
“Any time you lose a player that you drafted … when you’re trying to see what he is and how he can contribute, that’s hard.
“I lean on (Brown),” Jackson said. “He’ll go back and we’ll look at ways and explore ways to get our team better in that area. So I feel good about that. But I feel bad for the player ’cause he had worked hard and was excited about being out there.”
This is Wilson’s second major knee injury in the last two years; in 2015 while with the Cougars, he tore his right ACL.