Cleveland Browns: Gary Barnidge plans to be ready for training camp


Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge is optimistic he will be healthy when training camp starts, which is good news for the Browns.

Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge is expecting to be ready for the start of training camp after recently undergoing surgery for a sports hernia.

“It was just the opportunity to get it all done and I won’t miss any time,” Barnidge said on Wednesday. “That was the purpose of it, so we would get all of this done and then I would be ready to go for training camp and it wouldn’t pop up in the season. I’ll be ready.”

That is good news for the Browns on several fronts.

Related: Gary Barnidge lands on NFL’s Top 100 list

Barnidge is coming off a career year that saw him earn a Pro Bowl selection after catching 79 passes for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns – all tops on the team – and far exceeding his career totals heading into the season.

Similar to the wide receiver position, where the Browns are looking at the possibility of four rookies claiming what should be just seven roster spots, the options behind Barnidge at tight end are extremely green.

Sitting behind Barnidge on the depth chart are E.J. BibbsSeth DeValveConnor HamlettJ.P. Holtz and Randall Telfer, who have combined to catch one pass for seven yards at the NFL level.

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The one benefit from Barnidge being out now as opposed to when it matters this fall is that the young tight ends have had an extended opportunity to show the coaching staff what they have, even if it is in just shorts and helmets.

“I think we have some candidates. It’s hard – I think you all kind of mentioned this earlier – to really say who is until you put the pads on,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “Until we line up across a guy and you need to defeat somebody with your hat and hands, and do it when the other guy is trying to get around you and really go through you, will you really know.

“There are a lot of guys that look good in shorts. I don’t want to heap praise on somebody and then everybody will say, ‘What happened to this guy?’ I think that’s unfair. I think what we need to do is really channel the expectation of every position.”

Next: Hue Jackson: We have to do it the right way

In an off-season that has been filled with mostly good news for the Browns, a healthy Barnidge taking the field in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles is some of the best news yet.