Starting Defensive Tackle Desmond Bryant probably had every intention of making waves both on and off the field this season. Sadly for the Browns DT, his injury has put a stop to his 2016 dreams. With most of the online NFL odds essentially counting him out for the rest of the year, Bryant underwent surgery on Tuesday to remedy an injury he sustained while training over the weekend.
Having finished 28th in the league with 29 sacks in the previous season, the Browns are in a difficult position with Bryant’s absence.
This isn’t the first time Bryant’s health has debilitated the Browns’s efforts to succeed. The football star had to undergo an ablation in 2013 to remedy his irregular heartbeat, missing the final four games of the 2013 season., though he did make a return in 2014 stronger than ever.
Bryant’s removal from the field only exacerbates the situation with pass rusher Armonty Bryant already absent for an estimated four games at the start of the season.
Armonty was suspended following a scandal involving a drug felony charge. With former Raiders Coach Hue Jackson at the helm, assisted by defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Desmond Bryant, who’s 30 years old, was supposed to become the rock upon whose leadership the team would lean.
And for some, Desmond can still fulfill this role, at least once he finally returns to the field. 2016 marks Desmond’s first time as the elder statesman in the D-line room. He can expect to contend with even more responsibility than ever before.
It is a challenge Desmond is more than ready to undertake, admitting at one point to making more of an effort to be more vocal with the other players both on and off the field. When Bryant signed with the Raiders in 2009, he was an undrafted free agent out of Harvard.
His undrafted status compelled him to maintain a low profile, keeping his head down and staying out of the limelight. Having finally clawed his way up from the bottom, Bryant will soon have a chance to commit to more responsibility.
Jackson has made no secret of pushing Bryant to be more aggressive this season. Jackson can see the growth that Bryant has undergone over the last few years, his maturity positioning him to become a far more relevant NFL player.
The Browns aren’t in particularly dire straits, even with the absence of Desmond Bryant. They recently drafted a number of pass-rushers, including Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah. The likes of Nate Orchard and Xavier Cooper will also contribute to the Browns’s fortunes.
There has been talk of Cooper replacing Bryant on the field. With starting Linesmen like John Hughes and Danny Shelton, Cooper and Nassib will get all the support they need to fill Bryant’s shoes.
Shelton has admitted that he looks up to Bryant. He respects the years of experience that Bryant has and the work he has injected into his career to become the star player and great leader everyone now knows him to be.
The fact that Bryant has been so welcoming to the new pass-rushers, embracing them wholeheartedly, might explain why the team finds him so endearing. A lot of Browns fans believe that Desmond Bryant’s absence might add a competitive edge to the team.
How do you think the Browns will fare without Desmond Bryant? Let us know in the comments.