Myles Garrett got his butt kicked by COVID-19.
That's how the Pro Bowl pass rusher described it Friday as he looked ahead to his return to the field Sunday against the Titans.
Garrett thought he'd be an asymptomatic case if he ever got infected but that wasn't the case. His symptoms ran the fall gamut — much like they did for his parents earlier in the year — making his time away from the team "not the greatest."
"I was in pain," Garrett said.
"It kicked my butt. Now, I'm back."
Now, Garrett hopes to get back to the business of inflicting pain on opposing quarterbacks, something he was doing better than anyone in the NFL before he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he's liked what he's seen from Garrett since he rejoined the team Tuesday and returned to the practice field Wednesday. Garrett is one of four players coming off the reserve/COVID-19 list for Sunday's game, and coaches and trainers will monitor all of them to see how they handle the exertion.
"If we need to give him a blow, we will give him a blow," Stefanski said.
Garrett doesn't plan to need it.
"I am not here to make a cameo appearance or a second-rate arrival," Garrett said. "I am here to do the job that I was doing before, and I do not think there will be any drop off. I would not give anything other than my best and I feel like that is at the very top of the defensive line rankings."
The AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October went from first in the NFL to a tie for third with 9.5 sacks after missing the last two games. He's forced four fumbles and seemingly made a big play in all of the Browns' wins in which he played.
The Browns showed they can win without Garrett over the past two weeks but are certainly thrilled to have him back on the field. That's why Garrett won't try to force anything when he lines up across from Derrick Henry and the Titans.
"They went the distance. They made it happen," Garrett said. "Now, I am just trying to play the role I have been playing, just a playmaker and difference maker on the defensive side of the ball, do what I can and just be there when they need me and my number is called. They were doing that without me, and now, I will just try to add on top of that.
"It's just about making the plays that I am supposed to make. If I am out there and I can make some sacks, a forced fumble, some game changing plays—I am going to go do it. But if I can put my teammates in position to do those same things then I am also going to provide those avenues for them to do the same thing."
A close up look at the cleats and the foundations represented by our players for this years My Cause My Cleats campaign