Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett knows first hand how serious COVID-19 is. He knows from missing two games in November after contracting the virus, but it goes beyond that. He’s still dealing with the after effects, which have been impacting him on the field.
Garrett not 100 percent healthy yet
After the Browns’ 20-6 win over the New York Giants on Sunday night — in which he had a half sack — Garrett told the media that his lungs have been an issue. He appeared on Zoom to answer questions not long after he said he had a coughing fit in the locker room.
Via the Akron Beacon Journal:
“I'm just getting over a coughing fit in the locker room earlier. I'm trying to get some water into my system and be able to breathe,” Garrett said on Zoom. “Taking those deep, big breaths are tough right now with the shortness of breath and that turning into a cough or getting choked up.
“You've just got to find a way. It's about desire. No matter how I feel, I've got to do something on the field and when I get off of it, maybe go see someone and try to work with someone.
“Hopefully if we make it to the playoffs, I can try to get myself as close to 100[% healthy] as possible.”
Long-term effects of COVID-19 still being researched
All of the long-term effects of COVID-19 aren’t yet known, and are actively being researched. According to the CDC, you can continue to be affected by COVID-19 symptoms even after recovering. Those include fatigue, shortness of breath, and coughing, which line up with what Garrett is still experiencing.
“It's known to affect your lungs, and I need those to be out there and give my full effort,” Garrett said via the Akron Beacon Journal. “It's hard to want to make a move or do something that you know is going to expend a lot of energy, knowing that you'll have to do it the next play and the next play. Sometimes it kind of throws off what I'm doing. But I've just got to go out there and make it happen, and today we did.
“But it is tough. I try not to think about it during the game. I just try to make sure I get as much oxygen as I can in and keep rolling.”
Garrett told the media on Friday that even after being cleared to return for three weeks, he’s still doing breathing treatments four times a day and doesn’t know when he’ll start feeling 100 percent healthy again.
Mayfield proud of Garrett for battling through issues
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been watching his teammate battle through these issues so he can stay on the field and positively contribute to the team. He’s been more than impressed by Garrett’s toughness.
“Obviously, Myles continues to be a leader for us," Mayfield said via the Akron Beacon Journal. "He's our Walter Payton Man of the Year for our team. He's an extremely good leader on and off the field. Obviously, his play speaks for itself, but he wants to be out there whenever he can.
"No matter what, being 100% or not, he wants to be out there. He's the best pass rusher in the league, and people are always trying to chip him, double team him and trying to prevent him from making plays, but he continues to just work extremely hard. We're proud to have him on our team.”
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