The Cleveland Browns began their first mandatory minicamp of 2022 with a handful of notable players sidelined by injury, including one name that is sure to leave the Dawg Pound squirming with unease.
Among the injured Browns, perhaps the most concerning is cornerback Greedy Williams, a likely starter in the talented Cleveland secondary should his health hold up. With the start of the regular season still nearly three months out, the news that Williams will miss some light work early in the offseason is far from catastrophic. The disconcerting part is that the Browns chose not to divulge what is ailing their defensive back, who already has a considerable injury history just three years into his NFL tenure.
Jared Mueller of USA Today laid out the scenario at Browns minicamp on June 14.
“Expected to start on the outside when Greg Newsome II slides inside, Williams has had a number of injury issues throughout his career — some major, some minor,” Mueller wrote. “Teams are not required to share the nature of injuries at this point in the season.”
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Williams Missed Entire 2020 Season With Shoulder Injury
The Browns have been high on Williams since they selected him out of LSU with the 46th pick in the second round of the 2019 draft.
The cornerback started 12 games as a rookie, but disaster struck as he was heading into his second year in the league. Williams severely injured the axillary nerve in his shoulder during a tackling drill in training camp, which knocked him out for the entirety of the 2020 regular season.
Williams returned to the field in the summer of 2021 fresh and with a new perspective.
“I put in a lot of work in the offseason as far as rehab. Just coming out here and being able to do everything 100 percent makes me happy,” Williams told media members when training camp opened. “It feels great. Just taking a year out and just getting back out here is a different feeling. It is like new all over again. It feels great.”
That great feeling didn’t last long, as Williams went down with a groin injury that he sustained during a preseason matchup against the New York Giants in August. The month before, Williams was sidelined during practice with what Tom Withers of the Associated Press described as “heat-related issues.”
Williams went on to appear in 16 of 17 regular season games for the Browns in 2021, earning starts in eight of those contests. He tallied 41 tackles, defensed 10 passes, made two interceptions and forced one fumble.
Conklin, Grant Start Browns Minicamp on Sidelines With Injuries
The other two prominent names on the Browns’ roster who began minicamp on the sidelines with injury are two-time All-Pro offensive tackle Jack Conklin and wide receiver/return specialist Jakeem Grant.
Mueller reported that Conklin was not on the field Tuesday, but was with the team rehabbing from the knee injury he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens last November, which knocked him out for the remainder of the season. Conklin also suffered a dislocated elbow in 2021, a year in which he appeared in just seven games.
Meuller added that Grant was observed sporting a wrap on his right leg at team facilities last week and remained inactive Tuesday. Grant was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2021 as a kick returner, splitting that season between the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins.