The Cleveland Browns' rough start in their first preseason game included an injury to one of their key offensive players. On Cleveland's second offensive play, starting center Nick Harris was carted off the field after sustaining a right knee injury. Ethan Pocic replaced Harris in the lineup.
Saturday, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said Harris likely suffered a season-ending knee injury, per ESPN. Harris will seek a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis, but this is not good news. Harris is a significant loss for Cleveland's offense. He was projected to be a starter this season after making two starts during his first two seasons. A fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Harris underwent a grueling offseason conditioning program that appeared to be paying dividends this summer.
"When he came in, and all the college players have a limited base, and then when they get here, they're blown away at how much they have to do and how much goes on," Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan recently said of Harris. "To see him grow, not only physically — because he's done a great job in the offseason in the weight room — but mentally picking up the system, learning how to communicate calls, hitting players in the right spots.
"What's impressive is his dialogue off the field and the questions that he asks. They're excellent. They're really thought out and meaningful, and they're applicable. I would say his development mentally has really grown more so than his physical development."
With Harris out, the Browns could reach out to J.C. Tretter, who was the team's starting center the previous five seasons. Tretter is still on the open market after the Browns released him back in March.