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The Cleveland Browns signed two-time second-team All-Pro returner Jakeem Grant this offseason to bolster their special teams, but that plan has been derailed.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Grant “is feared to possess torn his Achilles” used Tuesday and can undergo further tests to verify.
Grant suffered the problems for his left leg during one-on-one drills and was carted off the field.
Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski said in a statement he feels “awful” for Grant:
The Browns signed Grant to a three-year deal in March. He began his career with the Miami Dolphins as a sixth-round pick in 2016, and Miami traded him to the Chicago Bears in October.
The 29-year-old earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2021 after averaging 11.9 yards per punt return and 23.4 yards per kick return in 15 games. In his career, Grant has four punt return touchdowns and two kickoff return touchdowns. He’s also recorded 100 receptions for 1,140 yards and seven scores in 81 games.
At training camp, Grant expressed his desire to put his versatility on display and become used a lot more than as a return specialist in 2022.
“I usually preach that Im a receiver first before a returner, and Im likely to continue steadily to preach that message, and Im likely to continue to focus on that until I get that possibility to have that breakout season,” he said.
The Browns have handled multiple injuries with their receiving corps during camp. Star wideout Amari Cooper missed time with a minor ankle injury, and David Bell and Anthony Schwartz had injury-related absences aswell. If Grant does miss significant time, it’s likely that Cleveland will deploy Demetric Felton as its returner this year.
The Browns play their first preseason game Friday contrary to the Jacksonville Jaguars.