Tony Fields II sat out the first day of Cleveland Browns rookie minicamp on Friday, May 14, 2021, after revealing to the team that he suffered a foot injury.
Fields was a fifth-round pick for the Browns out of West Virginia, where he led the Big 12 in tackles per game (9.8) last season. With the depth questionable at linebacker, the extra reps in rookie camp would have proved valuable.
In comments to the media on Friday, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said he does not know exactly when the injury happened, and he is not too concerned.
“Tony injured his foot,” Stefanski said. “I do not know if it was a few days ago or a week ago. He is going to be out a few weeks. Nothing concerning long term. That is where Tony was.”
Stefanski also noted that Fields will not need a procedure to repair his foot and was open with the team about the issue.
“He told us about it, and we were aware. Obviously, we put all of these guys through a physical when they come in. He will be out for a few weeks. Not concerned long term,” the coach reiterated.
Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Gaining Healthy
With Fields on the sideline, there was some extra focus on Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The former Notre Dame All-American dropped in the draft, which was likely due to a heart issue that came up late in the draft process.
The man known as JOK cleared up those reports prior to camp starting.
“Just seeing the reports, just based on something that is not necessarily 100 percent true, it is something where you have to sit back and control the controllable,” he told reporters. “It is not an issue. It is not something that I am worried about. I am looking forward to getting on the field and going.”
As for his on-the-field production, the Browns liked Owusu-Koramoah for his versatility. At 6 feet, 2 inches and 221 pounds, he’s a bit undersized for the linebacker position, but he also brings increased speed and athleticism to the unit. Stefanski was asked about Owusu-Koramoah gaining weight and was open to the idea, although he’s not petitioning for anything immediate.
“I think he could. He is young,” Stefanski said. “JOK in particular, I am comfortable with where he is, and I know he will continue to grow, just because he is a young player.”
Rough First Outing for WR Anthony Schwartz
On the offensive side of the ball, speedster Anthony Schwartz was the focus after being selected in the third round. He had a few drops as he knocked off the rust of the offseason, but again, it’s nothing Stefanski is worried about so early on in camp.
“I did not get to watch him the whole time,” Stefanski said. “I will go back and watch the tape. I think you have to remember these guys are throwing and catching with that battery of thrower and receiver doing it for the first time, so they are not going to have pinpoint precision just yet between the two of them. He is taking coaching. … He is doing just fine.”
Schwartz can be a major weapon for the Browns. He ran a 4.26 40-yard dash at his Pro Day and already has what he feels is a head start by working out with Jarvis Landry.
“Working out with a five-time Pro Bowler, a guy of his caliber, not everyone gets to do that and I’m in a blessed opportunity where I get to work at the same facility as him and I got to know him a little bit more,” Schwartz told reporters. “I feel like learning from him is going to do a lot for me moving forward and it’s going to help me get a jumpstart on really probably the rest of the rookies out there.”
Rookie minicamp continues through the weekend. There are 18 players participating, as per a news release from the team. That includes eight draft picks, five undrafted free agents, three tryout players and two players from the roster who are not rookies but are still considered first-year players.