On Nov. 20, Cleveland Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett tested positive for COVID-19, and the player was forced to isolate per NFL protocols.
The Browns placed the former first-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list. Therefore, the defensive player has missed Cleveland’s last two matchups. However, Garrett recently received good news. The player tested negative for COVID-19, which allows him to rejoin his teammates and gives him a chance to start this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
During a video conference with reporters on Friday, the Texas A&M product spoke about his coronavirus symptoms. Garrett revealed that he dealt with pain, a fever and aches, and a loss of smell. In addition, he admitted that he somewhat underestimated it since he assumed he would be asymptomatic. The player also admitted that the virus “kicked his butt” and that his parents struggled with it as well.
“[I’m] a lot better,” Garrett told reporters, according to Cleveland.com. “It wasn’t the greatest time. I wasn’t one of those asymptomatic cases, even though leading up to it, I thought I would be. My parents had it. It kicked their butt. I had it. It kicked my butt. Now, I am back.”
Additionally, Garrett was is in the race for the NFL’s sack leaders, but has fallen behind since missing time on the field. He led the league with 9.5 sacks before contracting COVID-19. But, he is now tied for third while the Pittsburgh Steelers’ TJ Watt took the lead during his absence with 11 sacks.
Garrett Says There Will Be No ‘Drop-Off’ in His Play
The defensive end may have fallen down the NFL sacks leader list, but knows he can still make an immediate impact on Sunday. He says he’s not coming back to be “second-rate” and that there won’t be any drop in his on-field efforts. If Garrett plays to his potential, he knows good things will follow, for his team and himself. The Browns will continue to win and he’ll possibly climb back up the NFL sacks list.
“I’m not here to make a cameo appearance or a second-rate arrival,” Garrett explained. “I’m here to do the job that I was doing before, and I don’t think there will be any drop-off. I wouldn’t give anything other than my best. I feel like that’s at the very top of the defensive line rankings.”
Yet, Garrett emphasized that he won’t be putting any personal accolades ahead of the team. He recognizes that individual statistics are meaningless outside of the team’s success.
“I’m not going to put myself before them and try to get stats,” Garrett continued. “They’re empty if they don’t lead to a win or lead to us getting off the field or takeaways. I am just trying to do whatever I can for us to have the best chance of succeeding together.”
He’ll have his first chance to make more game-changing plays this weekend. The Browns (8-3) will face the Titans (8-3) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN on Sunday afternoon.