“I told him, 'Man, you've got me putting my seat belt on in the morning,'” Clowney said Thursday at team headquarters. “Sometimes you're younger, you hop in that car, we just take off and don't put that seat belt on sometimes. I hopped in this morning, and I'm like, 'Let me put my seat belt on.' I don't even be speeding, but I'm just putting my seat belt on.
“He's blessed to be here. That little car he was driving, for him to come out with nothing really wrong with him, it's a blessing. I'm just happy he made it back. Like everybody says, drive safe. It's crazy.”
Cleveland Browns star reflects:'I had a guardian angel': Myles Garrett grateful to walk away from accident
Garrett sat out Sunday's 23-20 loss to the host Atlanta Falcons with a sprained left shoulder and a strained right biceps, injuries he suffered when his Porsche 911 Turbo S overturned several times in Sharon Township.
"I thought we had guys that were ready, that were capable of stepping up with Myles being out," Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. "But with the attention that Myles gets, it makes things a little different."
Garrett returned to practice Wednesday, and Woods said he thinks the three-time Pro Bowl selection will play Sunday when the Browns (2-2) host the Los Angeles Chargers (2-2).
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Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has a chance to face Los Angeles Chargers
The Ohio State Highway Patrol cited Garrett for failure to control his vehicle at an unsafe speed, with the two-time All-Pro selection telling a first responder at the scene he thought he had reached 65 mph in a 45 mph zone before crashing. Garrett's passenger, Yiana Tjotjos of Rocky River, suffered a minor head injury, according to the crash report. Garrett and Tjotjos were wearing seat belts, per the highway patrol.
“I told [Garrett] if something would have happened to him, I don't how it would have went well with this locker room or this team ― if we would have been still playing or not,” Clowney said. “He's a big part of this team, a great guy to have around, very good friend in the locker room. [It has] nothing to do with football – he's just a good dude, and you don't want nothing to happen to anyone you know or anybody like that. So I was praying for him, and I'm glad he's back.”
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Cleveland Browns teammates thankful to see Myles Garrett return to practice after one-car accident
Several Browns players expressed gratitude for Garrett being able to practice again.
"As long as he's healthy, we're happy," cornerback Greg Newsome II said. "Just to see him back on the field doing the things that he loves, it's definitely great to have him back out there."
“Amazing. Amazing," linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah said. "Always amazing to see that situation turn out at least for the better for Myles and not have any serious injuries or anything."
Garrett, 26, leads the Browns with three sacks in three games this season. He has 61.5 career sacks and needs one more to pass legendary linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. for the most official sacks in Browns history. The late defensive end Bill Glass tops the franchise's unofficial list with 77.5 sacks, which were not recorded by the NFL as a statistic until 1982.
Browns records in sight:Myles Garrett plans on passing legend Clay Matthews on both Cleveland sack lists this season
Four-time Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio said it would be "huge" for Garrett to return to game action this weekend.
“He’s the centerpiece of our defense, and if you watch the first three games that he played in this year, a lot of resources are put on him," Bitonio said. "If he’s not getting a sack on a play, the slide’s coming his way. He’s getting chipped. He’s getting double-teamed.
"[In Week 3 against] Pittsburgh, there might have been like one or two plays where he wasn’t double-teamed, so it’s an ultimate compliment to him, and I think it opens it up for the other guys. But it does a lot for our defense and our scheme, and he’s one of our best players, so the morale of our team, it brings it up as well.”
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @ByNateUlrich.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Jadeveon Clowney relieved Myles Garrett back after car crash