8 Cleveland Browns rehabbing major injuries this season
2. Curtis Weaver: Sack machine you may not have heard of
Curtis who? Curtis Weaver, if the Browns medical staff has succeeded in stitching him back together correctly may be a major contributor on the defensive line, even though you have may not have heard of him.
He was a record-breaking defensive end in college at Boise State, but had an injury that may have contributed to a poor 40 yard dash time at the 2019 Combine. Although he had been projected as a first or second-round pick, that injury may partly explain why he slid all the way to the fifth round, where the Miami Dolphins finally picked him up.
Early in training camp, he broke a sesamoid bone in his right foot, which is one of the small bones in the ball of the foot. We don’t know for certain whether that is related to his earlier injury, but it caused the Dolphins to waive him with an injury designation. The Browns picked him up and their doctors have surgically repaired the injury.
Nobody has said this, but this author wonders if Weaver was injured in college, and maybe that injury did not heal right, which is why he was on the slow side at the Combine, and why he slid so far in the NFL draft, and why the sesamoid bone almost immediately gave way in practice at summer camp.
Since I have started the rumor, let’s wait for a scathing denial by agent Ron Slavin. But before I apologize, I want to know how your client could possibly slide to the fifth round if he was healthy. This fellow looks like a Pro Bowl pass rusher on game films. If there was not an injury situation, it is inexplicable that he should have slid to the fifth round. So, where have I gone wrong?
Any time an injury ball of the foot is mentioned, the image of turf toe and Deion Sanders comes to mind.
That may have frightened off many general managers. However, in many cases, sesamoid fractures and turf toe injuries can be surgically repaired these days, and NFL players do make it all the way back to the playing field. It’s not 100%, but the numbers are there for most players. See for example,
Marchetti, Daniel Cole, Angela Chang, Marcio Ferrari, and Thomas O. Clanton. “Turf toe: 40 years later and still a problem.” Operative Techniques in Sports Medicine 25, no. 2 (2017): 99-107.
The Browns presumably huddled with their medical advisors and determined that they had a reasonable expectation helping Weaver return to competition, and so they pulled the trigger. This year, he gets a fresh chance for recovery.