Browns’ Garrett: Crash a ‘wake-up’ call, grateful to survive

Sep 29, 2022, 9:59 PM | Updated: Sep 30, 2022, 1:21 pm
FILE - Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett stands on the field during an NFL preseason foo...

FILE - Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett stands on the field during an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, in Cleveland. Now, more focused, stronger and driven like never before to push himself beyond what he thought possible as he reaches a pivotal point in his NFL career, Garrett has his sights on a new target. He's seeking greatness. Iconic greatness. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)

(AP Photo/David Richard, File)

              Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield passes under pressure from Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)
            
              FILE - Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett stands on the field during an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, in Cleveland. Now, more focused, stronger and driven like never before to push himself beyond what he thought possible as he reaches a pivotal point in his NFL career, Garrett has his sights on a new target. He's seeking greatness. Iconic greatness. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)
            
              Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) sacks New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (19) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Myles Garrett knows he’s lucky. His life could be very different or even over.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since losing control and flipping his Porsche after practice on Monday, the Browns’ star defensive end promised to change his behavior after surviving a crash he caused by driving too fast.

“Definitely grateful to be here,” Garrett said Friday after the Browns practiced without him.

Garrett sustained a sprained shoulder, strained biceps and cuts along with a ruptured blood vessel in his left eye during the single-car wreck on a rural road near his home following practice.

“This will be definitely a wake-up call for me, just try to be smart overall with driving,” said the 26-year-old, who has been ticketed numerous times for speeding in the past few years. “Don’t take anything for granted. Be grateful that I’m still able to be here and just take my time.”

If not for wearing seatbelts, Garrett said, both he and a female passenger probably would not have walked away from the crash.

“With what I saw, the pictures (of his car), I think it was a hell of an event and just grateful that not only am I alive, I was able to have so much of my family and the support system that was around me and just keep me locked in and keep me focused on taking it day by day,” he said.

Despite his injuries, and not practicing for the past three days, Garrett is being listed by the Browns (2-1) as questionable for Sunday’s road game against the Atlanta Falcons (1-2).

Coach Kevin Stefanski said the Browns’ medical staff will see how Garrett responds to rest and treatment over the next two days before deciding on whether he’ll play. The Browns leave for Georgia on Saturday.

Garrett cleared concussion protocol following the accident. He’s still a little sore,but feeling better and said he’d like to face the Falcons.

“That’s up to the training staff and the coaches,” he said. “If it were up to me, I would love to go. That’s just my competitive spirit and my nature. Physically we have to assess that going up to the game, today, tomorrow and on Sunday.

“But that’s just a decision we’ll make closer to game time.”

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the 26-year-old Garrett was traveling at an “unsafe speed” when his 2021 Porsche Turbo S went off the road, veered into a ditch and hit a fire hydrant before rolling several times.

The 23-year-old female with Garrett also suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital.

“That was a big sigh of relief for me because I was the one who put us in danger,” Garrett said. “So it was very calming for me to know that they were OK.”

Garrett told officers he thought was going 65 mph in a 45 mph zone before going off the hilly road near his home in Wadsworth, Ohio. Drugs and alcohol are not suspected, the highway patrol said in its post-crash report.

The accident destroyed Garrett’s car and left him along with many of his teammates shaken.

“I think emotionally I’m pretty grounded with everything, I’ve put it behind me,” Garrett said. “Physically I’m still dealing with some of the injuries that came along with it, but it’s really just a blur, it all happened pretty fast.

“Sometimes, the last couple nights I’ve sat and thought about some of the different situations, scenarios, how it played out, but knowing that I can’t change the past, just got to keep moving forward and glad everyone’s all right.”

Garrett said that in the moments after the crash, his focus was on everything but his playing career.

“I thought about my family. I thought about them worrying,” he said. “I thought about my passenger and making sure that they were OK and that their life was going to remain the same. It was not on football because at that point, everything that had just happened was much bigger than football, and it really involved our lives just moving forward.”

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft has been ticketed numerous times for speeding. He was cited on successive days last year for going 120 mph and paying a fine for an amended 99 mph violation in a 70 mph zone.

Garrett said the crash will change the way he drives.

“I don’t think it takes something as drastic as this to tell me that I need to slow down,” he said. “It’s about listening to my love ones, hearing them out and understanding that it is serious every time you get into the car.”

Garrett has a team-high three sacks in three games. He needs just one one to pass Clay Matthews (62) for the franchise career record.

NOTES: Browns DE Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) is also questionable for Sunday. He missed last week’s game against Pittsburgh with the injury. … If Garrett and Clowney don’t play, rookie Alex Wright and Isaac Rochell will start. … DT Taven Bryan (hamstring) was ruled out and will be replaced in the starting lineuo by Tommy Togiai.

___

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Browns’ Garrett: Crash a ‘wake-up’ call, grateful to survive