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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Browns tackle Desmond Bryant cleared for 2014 after major heart scare

By on 3/09/2014 03:30:00 PM

Cleveland Browns' Desmond Bryant is fully cleared to play football, according to ProFootballTalk's Joseph Alper. Bryant saw his 2013 season end abruptly with a heart condition that scared the Browns team and football fans all over the league.

Bryant, a Harvard product and a five-year veteran defensive tackle, left a Browns game versus the Bills early on October 3rd when his heart began to race.  Doctors treated him with medication, and he returned to the field. Then he experienced the same thing the Monday after the Jacksonville game December 1st, and doctors determined that he needed a cardiac ablation, which typically involves inserting catheters through the groin to correct structural problems in the heart.

Bryant, 28, underwent the ablation December 6th to correct the irregular heartbeat, which had once flared up in 2012 when he was with the Oakland Raiders.

The Cleveland Browns acquired Bryant in free agency last year and started the first 12 games until doctors decided he needed the operation.  Last season in those 12 games, Bryant led the team with 32 quarterback harassment's, which includes pressures, hits and sacks.

 June Rivera via Wikimedia Commons (Bryant as a Raider)
A typically healthy Bryant has played in 75 games out of a possible 80.  He signed a five-year deal with the Browns worth $34 million, including $15 million guaranteed. He's set to make $3 million this year.

Fellow Browns linebacker Quentin Groves had the same procedure in 2008, and understands the seriousness of the surgery.  He said about Bryant:
It is scary. It's the same thing I had done. It is scary to know that you can be fine one day and the next day you not be here with us, so I think he made a wise choice to get it done.
Even with Bryant's season being cut short, in 12 games he had a combined 45 tackles and 3.5 sacks for 2013. He finished fourth on the team with 3.5 sacks, but registered all of them in the first three games, before the heart issue resurfaced.

Bryant posted this message on his Twitter account regarding his clearance:
Everybody has been asking about my health. The doctor gave me full clearance and I am currently preparing for a very successful 2014 season!
Bryant has a career 155 tackles, three forced fumbles and 15 sacks.  A heart procedure is a scary and serious thing, and Bryant is expected to fully recover in time for training camp in July.  He seemingly has an amazing attitude and will undoubtedly bring his perseverance back to the Browns defense this year.

For more NFL Injury News on Twitter: @alewnes7


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