David Njoku is clearly sick of playing the waiting game.
The Cleveland Browns tight end hasn’t been on the field since Week 2 because of an injured wrist he suffered against the Jets that required surgery, landing him on the IR.
However, he’s practiced the past two weeks and has been fairly adamant that he’s ready to get back on the field. The Browns’ brass has thought otherwise.
“I think David is getting close,” Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters on Thursday. “He practiced a little bit more last week, and he is getting closer.”
He expanded a little more on the situation with the Browns 2017 first-round pick.
“We just want to make sure he is ready to go,” Kitchens said. “That is all because there is no half-stepping it. Once you are at the game from that spot, he has to play. You are limited on how many guys you can have at the game so you need to make sure that he can do all of the things he needs to do not just in one area but in all areas, especially in that position.”
Njoku doesn’t seem to agree and didn’t waste any words in an Instagram post, making his feelings known.
“I’m ready,” Njoku wrote.
The Browns have until Dec. 11 to activate Njoku, but there is a question if it’s worth the risk. If his wrist isn’t 100% with the Browns playoff hopes slipping away, should the team put him on the field?
That question will be answered in the coming days.
David Njoku Says Impatience Led to Wrist Surgery
It was believed that Njoku did not have surgery on his wrist, but he revealed upon his return that he did to get on the field sooner.
“I’m very impatient,” Njoku told reporters after returning to practice. “When I want something, I want it right now, and without surgery, it looked like it was making me wait a little bit, and I didn’t have time for that.
“The human body’s a very interesting thing. No matter what anybody says, it’s going to heal the way it heals. With that being said, I was very impatient with waiting and I wanted progress now, so I chose eventually to have the surgery, and it worked out perfectly. It healed amazingly fast, and here I am.”
Njoku has something to prove this year. The former first-round pick is a physical specimen at 6-foot-4, 246 pounds with 4.6 40-yard dash speed.
Last year, Njoku essentially doubled his production in the passing game from his rookie season, collecting 56 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns.
Freddie Kitchens Compliments TE Stephen Carlson
Njoku was off to a slow start with just four catches for 37 yards and one touchdown. That being said, he’s one of the NFL’s best pass-catching tight ends and will be missed. He’s is in the third year of a four-year rookie contract, with an option available for a fifth.
On top of that, Kitchens had some nice things to say about backup tight end Stephen Carlson — an undrafted tight end out of Princeton.
“Stephen is a good, dependable, you know where he is going to be, you know he is going to make the plays that are there to be made and he is reliable,” Kitchens said. “I am really, really happy with what he had given us offensively and from a special teams standpoint. Sometimes you need guys just to go in and do their job on special teams, as well, and he has done a good job in all areas. I am very happy with what Stephen has brought to us.”