A big story not getting a lot of attention, for obvious reasons, going into the 2022 season for the Cleveland Browns is the return of OT Jack Conklin. Conklin missed 10 games in 2021 after tearing his patella tendon in his knee.
He worked hard this offseason and was removed from the physically unable to perform list after a short stint to start training camp.
This offseason, Conklin restructured his contract to stick around with the Browns for the upcoming season. The restructuring did not change the length of his contract.
Conklin is set to be a free agent at the end of the season.
One of the best right tackles in the game, Conklin wants to stay in Cleveland long-term:
#Browns RT Jack Conklin said he would love to stay in Cleveland beyond this coming season, the last of his contract
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) August 3, 2022
Later in the interview, Conklin noted that he must prove that he is healthy and productive before the team would have an interest in extending his time.
Last year’s injury was the second major knee injury of the former Michigan State star’s career. He tore his ACL in 2018 while with the Tennesee Titans. While he returned to play all 16 games in 2019, the Titans had declined his fifth-year option on his rookie contract which freed him up to sign with the Browns in 2020.
During his recent surgery, Conklin noted that another issue was found and fixed:
Conklin said doctors found a bone spur in his knee during surgery. Removing it has helped.#Browns
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) August 3, 2022
The tough right tackle also noted that he never wants to be carted off the field because he never knows when it will be his last snap. If he is able, he plans to walk off the field no matter the injury.
A healthy Conklin will be vital for the Cleveland offense. Chris Hubbard, James Hudson and Blake Hance are key reserves but each has struggled when thrown into the starting lineup at different times.