Landry dealt with a hip injury for most of last season, battling through it and not missing a game. He still managed to make the Pro Bowl with a team-leading 83 catches for 83
1,174 yards and six touchdowns.
Landry initially decided to not have surgery on his hip and ride it out, hoping it recovered in time for the season. But after feeling some pain at the Pro Bowl and going through a moment of self-reflection after Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash that killed eight others, Landry opted instead to get the procedure to remove two pieces of bone from his hip.
Landry discussed the process in a video on his YouTube channel.
“Kobe Bryant dies the same day and I stayed up that night until about 3, 4 o’clock in the morning and I’m watching his story, watching his legacy, watching all of his documentaries and it just hit me. I had this talk with myself like ‘Jarvis you’re hurt. You can’t fake this. You can’t keep trying to be tough for everybody else. You’re hurt.’
“And from that point, I started thinking about, ‘All right, do I play another season hurt and my production goes down? Do I play another season and I’m not the same person? Do I play another season and I hurt something else?’
“All these thoughts kind of came just from watching how short life is and how a legend was taken from us in a time when it was unexpected for everybody. I guess it’s kind of crazy to say that that’s what made me get the surgery, but it’s something that triggered something inside of me to have that self-reflection and be like, ‘Man, you need the surgery.'”
Landry has never missed a game over his six-year NFL career.
Pro Bowl Helped Jarvis Landry Realize Surgery was Needed
Along with Bryant, the Pro Bowl played a major role in how Landry viewed the procedure. With Cleveland not making the playoffs, he had three weeks to rest before the game but still did not feel right.
“I felt like if I got together with the team doctors, got together with my doctors, that we could formulate a plan for this offseason to be able to manage me again throughout the year to be able to make it through the season,” Landry said. “Going into Pro Bowl, given that I was off three weeks, and thinking that I was going to feel better and then playing in the game — which obviously wasn’t really a game, we were just jogging around, having fun — and I realized how much pain I was in from even just doing that.
“I was kinda happy that I went to Pro Bowl, that I did Pro Bowl because that was more of an indication of why I needed the surgery.”
Landry shared on his YouTube channel that he’s looking at an August return.
“If I waited another month, now they’re pushing me another couple weeks back for the start of the season. Now I’m looking at an August return — maybe even before that — while if I’d had waited another couple weeks, I’m looking at a September return.”
Browns WR Odell Beckham Also on the Mend
Landry is not the only star Browns receiver to undergo offseason surgery. Odell Beckham Jr. — Landry’s college teammate and best friend on the team — also had a procedure to repair a core muscle injury. Dr. Bill Meyers in Philadelphia performer the surgery, and a full recovery is expected, according to the Cleveland Browns official site.
Despite breaking the 1,000-yard barrier, Beckham did not live up to the wild expectations set for him catching passes from Baker Mayfield, finishing his first season in Cleveland with 1,035 yards and four touchdowns, missing the Pro Bowl.
Beckham has also mourned Bryant’s death and got a large tattoo of Kobe to show his respects.
“You taught us ALL so many valuable lessons Kobe. Your sacrifice and dedication to this game is somethin that ever athlete can admire. You showed us that there is no substitute for hard work. You’ve been thru it, yet u always found a way to overcame it all. This one hurt beyond words. I still can’t believe it. Somethin I live by and constantly remind myself of is that “Tomorrow isn’t promised.” We’re gonna miss u brother. My prayers go out to the Bryant family and others. 2020 is for u champ, that’s my word!!! Rest easy King. Rest easy GiGi. LUV.”