Week 1 of the NFL season. A time for optimism. A time when every team feels like they’ve got a shot. When even the Jets aren’t eliminated from the postseason. And then there’s the Browns. The Freaking Browns. Because no other team in the NFL can do what the Browns do. No other team can tank an entire season to draft No.1 — land the guy they want in pass rushing freak Myles Garrett. And then get him injured 72 hours before the season starts.
You can’t make up a more Browns story if you tried. Not when it’s the Thursday before the start of the season and your official Twitter account is sending messages like this one: “UPDATE: Myles Garrett has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. His status will be updated in a couple weeks.”
The dreaded high ankle sprain. A couple of weeks, if “a couple” means four to six, and probably even longer. And an injury that according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com happened when a teammate fell on his ankle. Friendly fire taking out the future of the Browns before the freaking season even begins.
Now I know this season is just part of that down-to-the-studs rebuild. I know that war chest of draft picks and shedding guys like Joe Haden and starting a rookie like DeShone Kizer means the Browns are still looking to the future. And I know that Garrett, up until he blew a wheel, had looked like the real deal, something that not many Browns first rounder’s have ever resembled, considering they’ve drafted Barkevious Mingo, Justin Gilbert, William Green, Courtney Brown, Jonathan Football, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and Trent Richardson. But would it have been too much to at least let the guy roll his ankle chasing Big Ben? To at least do SOMETHING on the field before the Browns started the season 0-2 and gave up hope?
Because the crazy thing is that the Browns schedule looks manageable. Sure they open with Pittsburgh and Baltimore to start the year but they’ve also got Indy, the Bengals and the Jets after that. But just as optimism was starting to peek through. Just as the first semblance of life was sprouting from that scorched earth. Down goes Myles Garrett. And the guy got hurt in freaking practice. Only the Browns. Only the freaking Browns.