After a torn ACL last season, Browns QB Brian Hoyer is back and looking better than ever.
If an athlete were to suffer an ACL tear ten or so years ago, it may as well have been a death sentence. The athlete could expect at least a year of recovery time just to get a glimpse of the field again, if they recovered at all.
It is a different story nowadays. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has now set the bar for speedy recoveries from a torn ACL. Since then, athletes in all sports are seeing much less time sidelined, and less of a performance dip when they do return.
That is exactly what Cleveland Browns’ fans are hoping for out of QB Brian Hoyer. After taking over for Brandon Weeden in week three, he led the Browns to three straight wins as a starter. In his third start week five against the Bills however, while sliding to avoid a hit, Hoyer was very slow to get up and was favoring his right knee as he walked to the tunnel.
The announcement came out a few days later that the diagnosis was a torn right ACL, effectively ending Cleveland’s new found hope, and Hoyer’s season. The Brandon Weeden/Jason Campbell era was back in full force.
For the rest of the season, the starting QB role flip-flopped between Weeden and Campbell. Cleveland was only able to muster one more win on the year, leaving the fan base to wonder how different the season might have been if Hoyer had stayed healthy.
While fans are indeed optimistic that the Browns can improve from their four win season a year ago, some are left to wonder if Hoyer has had enough time to get himself totally healthy. The answer is a resounding yes.
Since he only got hurt in the fifth week of the season, his recovery time as been extensive. If the injury would have occurred within the last four or five weeks of the season, then the discussion would be totally different.
With the great strides sports medicine has made, and Hoyer’s clear desire to get back on that field and start winning again, Browns’ fans should expect nothing less than a 100% Brian Hoyer, if he indeed keeps the starting job. New coach Mike Pettine has announced he will make his decision on the starter by Aug. 23.
Going into training camp, with Weeden and Campbell now gone, it looks as though the starting job is Hoyer’s to lose. Unless of course first round pick Johnny Manziel can prove he deserves it, but that’s another few stories in itself.