JC Tretter knew what he was getting into.
After missing two practices last week, the Browns center tested out his injured ankle at a relatively light Friday practice. It didn't feel great, but the pain was manageable. He went into the practice feeling good about his status for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers and came away knowing he'd be available.
It just wasn't going to feel great all of the time, especially in a game that wound up going beyond regulation.
"It was tough. It was sore, but it was what we expected," Tretter said. "Going in, we knew it was going to be a battle. Obviously, the extra 10 minutes make it a bigger battle, but I was confident once I got started, I knew I was going to be able to finish it."
Tretter battled through a number of injuries during the first part of his career but hasn't missed a game since signing with the Browns in 2017. He missed all of his rookie year with an ankle injury and was sidelined with knee issues throughout his final season with the Packers.
Tretter has popped up on the injury report here and there over the past two seasons but it hasn't been enough to keep him sidelined. This very well could be the most painful injury he's played through, and it hasn't gone unnoticed.
Browns coach Hue Jackson said he praised Tretter during a team meeting Monday.
"I was very, very pleased with for the young man to play with a high ankle sprain, not have much practice and go in there and play every snap for the offensive football team," Jackson said. "That says a lot about one, how he feels about his teammates and how much the game is important to him. I commended him on that."
Tretter was back in a walking boot Monday and likely will follow the same plan he utilized throughout the previous week as he prepares for the Steelers. The pain will remain, and he admitted "there are some things you can't do that you're used to," but he expects to start his 24th consecutive game when the Browns look to win a pivotal division matchup.
"We got ahead of it," Tretter said. "We had a really good plan last week so it is all about kind of staying ahead of it and understanding what you need to do for it."