Skip to main content

JC Tretter fights to the finish yet again in Browns win over Panthers

JC Tretter limped off the field and barely made it to the sideline. 

Upon reaching it, he dropped to a knee, and the Browns medical staff tended to his ankle once again. Someone had rolled into his ankle, and the Browns were concerned enough that backup center Kyle Kalis began taking warm-up snaps. 

On the next drive, though, Tretter returned to the field as he always has since first spraining his left ankle on a quarterback sneak against the Chargers in mid-October. He's listed as questionable every week, but his teammates are always confident in his availability. So confident, in fact, that Baker Mayfield wonders if they've gotten too used to it. 

"I think we have kind of taken it for granted that he does it week by week," Mayfield said. "He is not the most vocal guy, but for those linemen, he sets the example every day. He continues to fight and we are thankful."

Tretter will continue his limited practice regimen this week as the Browns prepare for the Broncos on a short turnaround. He'll maximize his weekly mental reps to ensure his body can stand the physical ones on Saturday. 

Tretter's routine may seem just that -- routine. But that's only because he makes it look that way. 

"That is not an easy injury, especially when you play that position," coach Gregg Williams said Monday. "It is all about power and first step, second step – all of those things you have to do. Even yesterday, when he got rolled up on again – his ankle got rolled up on again – and had to come out for a short time. I was super impressed with how he fought through it and came back and continued to play."

Tretter has even less time to rejuvenate his ankle this week. Couple that with the aggravation he suffered Sunday, and you might feel some added verve to his inevitable "questionable" listing on the injury report. 

But Tretter's coach has seen him play through too much pain to rule him out for Saturday. Williams won't believe his center is sitting until he sees it. 

"I would be shocked he did not just assert his will and say, 'I am playing,'" Williams said.