Finally, some good news out of Browns training camp.
The past two weeks have been nothing short of disastrous.
First, several receivers, including David Bell, were held out of camp or injured during the course of training.
Next are the looming Deshaun Watson proceedings.
Despite a six-game suspension for sexual misconduct earlier in the week, there is no end in sight to the Watson saga now that the NFL has appealed the suspension.
Fortunately, the Browns got some good news on Saturday.
Rookie receiver David Bell cleared the Physically Unable To Perform (PUP) list and is ready to hit training camp running.
Right Foot Forward
Bell has missed all of training camp so far due to a suspected stress fracture in his foot.
Thankfully, the offseason PUP list rules differ from the regular season’s.
If this was Week One, Bell would be forced to miss at least six games as he waited to heal on the PUP list.
Remember when we used to argue about Baker? Those were good times. 🤦♀️😂😭 #Browns
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In the offseason, though, players can return from the PUP list as soon as they are cleared by medical staff.
Up to this point, Bell hadn’t passed his physical, the reason why he was held out of camp.
But his foot is on the mend and he’s ready to return.
Bell’s inclusion in practice is huge, considering Donovan Peoples-Jones is one of the only receivers not to miss any time at camp yet.
Amari Cooper missed a day with ankle issues, Javon Wims dealt with an illness, Anthony Schwartz is still out with a knee injury, and Isaiah Weston likely tore his ACL.
But good vibes still abound from Browns receivers coach Chad O’Shea, reported by Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com:
“When I step in front of the group and we have our meetings, when I talk about challenges, we talk about opportunities. We flip that word. It truly is an opportunity for other guys to show us what they have. Although it might be a setback for the individual that suffered the injury, whether it’s short-term or long-term, what a great opportunity that is for guys like Mike Woods, Mike Harley – some of these young rookies to get an opportunity to go out there and show all the work we’ve done in the meetings and we’ve had on the field individually, now can go into huddle and they can show they deserve to be here as a Cleveland Brown.”
O’Shea is spot on: someone is going to emerge from camp as a top option.
But why not Bell?
Ring The Bell
Bell’s biggest competition at camp figured to be Peoples-Jones and Schwartz.
With Cooper penciled into the top receiver spot, the expectation was that the Browns would have an open competition for the second and third spots.
Peoples-Jones figured to be the No. 2 receiver, but Bell received glowing reviews from voluntary workouts.
The #Browns are signing USFL DPOY DE Chris Odom pic.twitter.com/yCCko5lWjt
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) August 5, 2022
Including rumors that Bell was the second coming of Jerry Rice.
Okay, not quite.
But Bell had a strong early showing before going down.
And even though he’s missed time, he still has a shot at that second or third slot.
With the receiving room high on gauze and painkillers and low on playing time, Bell’s future is in his own hands.
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