BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns suffered their first major casualty of the offseason Saturday when the team learned that fourth-round pick Howard Wilson broke his kneecap.
Wilson suffered the injury during Friday’s practice and he will require surgery meaning he will miss at least part of his rookie season.
“It’s disappointing but this is a part of playing football,” Wilson said in a statement released by the team. “It was kind of a freak thing. I was just running around and my knee just kind of locked up on me. I didn’t think much of it but the training staff wanted to get the proper testing so I got the MRI.
“I’m a positive person so I will have the surgery, work hard in my rehab and look forward to getting back to out there and helping this team win some games.”
The Browns will determine a specific timetable for his return once he has surgery.
“It’s unfortunate, he’ll be out for a while, significant time,” head coach Hue Jackson said following Saturday’s practice. “We’ll deal with it accordingly but his spirits are high. He understands it and he understands what he’s dealing with. He’s already started the process of getting his mind beyond that so he can get back as soon as he can.”
Jackson added that Wilson got hurt late in the practice and the injury wasn’t a result of a collision with a teammate.
“Those things just kind of happen,” Jackson said.
Cleveland selected Wilson 126th overall out of Houston after sending a pair of fifth-round picks – Nos. 145 and 175 – to the Denver Broncos on April 29. The Browns also received No. 252 (seventh) in the deal, which they used to select running back Matthew Dayes.
This is the second major injury Wilson has suffered. In 2015 he tore his right ACL which ended his season that saw him limited to just 3 games.
Wilson was expected to be thrown into the rotation in the defensive backfield as a rookie and now the Browns may have to look elsewhere for help in the secondary.
“Anytime you lose a player you drafted on the first day when you’re trying to see what he is and how he can contribute, that’s hard,” Jackson said. “I lean on Sash [Sashi Brown]. We’ll look at ways and explore ways to get our team better in that area. I feel good about that but I feel bad for the player.”