Browns teammates took a knee in prayer and had defensive end Chad Thomas in their thoughts after a scary moment at Monday’s practice.
Thomas was carted off the practice field after suffering a neck injury during a team drill midway through the session. The second-year defensive lineman was immobilized out of precaution and had movement and feeling in all of his extremities as he was transported to University Hospitals for further evaluation and testing.
He was back at the facility by 5 p.m. and diagnosed with a neck sprain. His practice status will be updated on a day-to-day basis.
“Just a precautionary to make sure everything is OK,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said. “Anytime something happens like a stinger, or anything dealing with any issues like that, you want to be more cautious than anything and that is what we are doing.
“You do not want to see your teammate laying there. But again, the protocol from anything like that is sometimes it looks worse than it is, not to make any light of it. It is a serious nature. (Vice President, Player Health and Development Joe Sheehan) and his staff did everything to protocol to make sure that there was no damage done after the fact."
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The Browns halted practice for five minutes while trainers attended to Thomas, who grabbed at his facemask while he laid on the ground. Teammates knelt in prayer circles and wished him well as he was wheeled off the fields.
“He is one of your guys,” left guard Joel Bitonio said. “Unfortunately, it happens in games and you just kind of pick it back up. It is never easy, but we try to get some more good plays in, try to get some more good periods in and just finish the best we could.
Thomas, a former third-round pick, has been having a strong training camp, as he’s regularly worked with the second-team defensive line and brought constant pressure in team drills. He was credited with a tackle and a quarterback hit in last week’s preseason opener against the Redskins.