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 in Cleveland after the team 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 as questionable for Sunday’s road game against the Atlanta Falcons.
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 was 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 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 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.
Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) is questionable after he missed last week’s game against Pittsburgh. Defensive tackle Taven Bryan (hamstring) was ruled out and will be replaced in the starting lineup by Tommy Togiai.
Dalton set to step in for Winston
Saints backup quarterback Andy Dalton is preparing to square off with Kirk Cousins again in London.
Dalton is expected to start after Jameis Winston was listed as doubtful for New Orleans’ game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings in London. With Winston missing a third consecutive practice because of a back injury, Dalton again took first-team snaps.
“I’ll be ready if my number is called,” Dalton said. “I’ve been in this situation before where you’re the backup and have to step in and play.”
The team’s injury report listed Winston (back/ankle) as doubtful for the NFL’s first international game of the season, while wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot), guard Andrus Peat (concussion) and safety Marcus Maye (rib) were all ruled out.
Saints coach Dennis Allen said they’ll wait until the last minute, but he doubts Winston will play.
“Our plan right now is to have Andy ready to go,” Allen said. “He’s performed at a high level in our league and that’s really one of the big reasons why we brought him here is in case he’s called upon, we feel highly confident that he can go in and do the job.”
Dalton has played twice before in London as the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals. They lost 24-10 to the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, three years after a 27-27 tie against Washington, then led by Cousins.
“They’re used to all the ties in soccer, so they didn’t think anything of it,” he said of the nearly 85,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.
The Saints arrived Monday but the Vikings landed in the British capital on Friday morning, choosing to stick to their regular schedule and time zone as much as possible.
Minnesota outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (knee) was listed Friday as questionable for the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Coach Kevin O’Connell said Smith will be a game-time decision.
Smith signed a three-year deal with the Vikings in the offseason and is tied atop the NFL with five tackles for loss.
“He’s one of our most important players, obviously, but I want him to feel good about playing and feel like he can be his normal self,” O’Connell said Friday. “I think he’s trending that way, but it will be a game-time decision.”
Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (quadriceps) was listed as doubtful.
Panthers hope to have McCaffrey
Panthers coach Matt Rhule said he is “very hopeful” that running back Christian McCaffrey will play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals after missing the last two days of practice with a quad injury.
McCaffrey returned to practice on a limited basis Friday and is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. He ran, cut and caught passes during the 20 minutes of practice that were open to the media inside the team’s bubble.
“He looked good out there today,” Rhule said. “Unless something comes up I’m sure he will give his best chance to go. We are very hopeful.”
When asked how he feels and if he expects to play Sunday, McCaffrey replied: “I feel great.”
McCaffrey missed 23 of 33 games the previous two seasons due to injuries.