Last week, the Cleveland Browns lost safety Grant Delpit for the season, a player who, it was increasingly looking like, was potentially in line for a starting job this year. Having dispensed with their starters from a year ago in Morgan Burnett and Damarious Randall, the position will be handled by a new cast.
That new cast will likely be made up of players signed in free agency, namely Andrew Sendejo and Karl Joseph, the latter of whom recently spoke to the team’s website about his time with the team, their prospects this year, his own path forward, as well as the loss of Delpit.
“It was hard to see him go down like that. I know what it’s like to be hurt, especially a young guy before the season even starts”, he said of the latter. “It’s unfortunate sometimes to lose guys, and I think Grant will be a big part of the defense moving forward. The next guy has to be ready. Nobody is going to come in here and save us. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have injuries and everybody has injuries. Next guy up has to be ready to play”.
Delpit wasn’t the only injury in the secondary. Slot corner Kevin Johnson, also a free agent pickup, suffered a lacerated liver and is expected to miss time at the start of the season. Starting cornerback Greedy Williams, entering his second year, remains ‘day-to-day’ with a shoulder injury that was initially feared serious.
Joseph himself has missed time during training camp this year with the Browns due to injury. For those who have followed his career, you’re surely aware that he is not unfamiliar with battling injuries. But he has been back on the field and in the starting lineup.
“It sucks sometimes with how camp has been for me to not get all the reps out there with my guys, but I know it’s for my best interest”, he said. “Just going out there and being able to get those reps and making some plays, it’s good to get my mind off the injury. I’m not thinking about it and I know I’m good. It’s definitely a little confidence builder and it just feels good to be out there with my teammates, communicating, running around and having fun and playing a game I love”.
Now that he is projected to start, he also talked about what kind of pairing he thinks himself and Sendejo can make in the starting lineup for the Browns, saying they are both guys who play with a chip on their shoulder. “We’re communicating well. We’ve just got to go out and play. There’s not too much to talk about. Just have to go out there and handle our business”.
Of course, Cleveland they thought they had their starting pair last year and neither of them are even on the team anymore. Things can change on a hurry, especially within less stable organizations. The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded or released or failed to retain six of their seven defensive Pro Bowlers from 2017, for example, with the seventh retiring.