The Cleveland Browns lost Kevin Johnson to a lacerated liver
Cleveland Browns cornerback Kevin Johnson is out for an indefinite period of time after suffering a lacerated liver during a collision with tight end Harrison Bryant at practice on Wednesday. Basically, a “lacerated liver” means he got hit so hard that the internal impact caused his liver to tear and bleed internally. Johnson was hospitalized for tests and observation. As of early Friday morning, no decision has been made on his injury status.
Johnson was on track to be a key performer in the Browns secondary after signing a one year deal at the $3 million level, where we would be at least the nickelback, which is what he did last year for the Buffalo Bills and received excellent reviews. Johnson is a former number one draft pick from the Houston Texans, but his best year was probably with Buffalo last season.
A lacerated liver is a rare injury. According to Nick Shook of NFL.com, the last time this injury was reported as 13 years ago when tight end Bo Scaife of the Tennessee Titans ended up on the Injured Reserve. That’s scary news, and it’s natural to wonder whether Johnson’s injury will be comparable to Scaife’s.
The biggest knock on Johnson has been staying healthy. He has a concussion history and also has had a broken foot and knee surgery. As a result, he started only 18 games for the Texans in his four year rookie contract and was allowed to go free agent last season.
However, we have to go with University Hospitals on this injury because the injury is so unique It might not be so simple that liver injuries can be benchmarked against Scaife’s season-ending injury in 2007.
In that regard, a study from Albany Medical College in 2014 distinguished at least four separate grades of injury, with healing times that ranged from six days to 108 days, and return to play that ranged from two months to six months. This takeaway for this writer — who knows absolutely nothing about medicine — is that there are wide variations in the severity of injury and the length of recovery time and rehab. Hence Johnson’s situation may be similar to Scaife’s or might be very different.
The Browns have other candidates for the slot corner position. Terrance Mitchell was not used much in the last half of the 2019 season but is experienced in the slot corner role. Donnie Lewis the Browns’ 2019 seventh-round draft choice from the Tulane Green Wave also has some reps in that role.
Special teams ace Tavierre Thomas and undrafted free agent A. J. Green — not to be confused with the more famous Cincinnati Bengals wide receiever with the same name — could also find a role.
However, fans of Kevin Johnson should not give up hope for a return this season, not yet, anyway. Our guy is down, but he still has a fighting chance.