Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/28/13
It was supposed to be the most exciting day so far of Browns training camp: the first in full pads when every hit delights the crowd and dazzles the coaches. Instead it was a grim reminder that the next crushing blow could be a player's last. About 40 minutes into the practice which was moved indoors and closed to the public because of rain second-year offensive linemen Ryan Miller -- a mountain of a man at 6-7 320 pounds -- went down with a thud and didn't get up. Nor did he move. For what seemed like an eternity. While Miller -- who ultimately suffered a concussion and was released from the Cleveland Clinic last night -- lay unconscious on his back drills continued elsewhere on the field until linebacker Quentin Groves frantically alerted everyone that a man was down. Not just any man but a member of their tightknit football family. The music stopped abruptly and a hush fell over the fieldhouse transforming it for a moment into a still photo. Players dropped to their knees around Miller like a row of dominoes and began to pray. Miller who remained motionless for about five minutes was immobilized by the medical staff and strapped to a board with his helmet still on. He was then carted to an ambulance that's always at the ready during practices another reminder that it's a violent game and a career can be fleeting. As Miller was sped away coach Rob Chudzinski gathered his players joined in a prayer and assured them he'd keep them updated. Meanwhile the public relations staff had ordered the television cameras be turned off and asked that Miller's name not be released until his family was notified a sobering sequence on what was supposed to be a day when stars are born. “Anytime your brother goes down it’s scary ‘cause you never know'' said Groves. "We play this game so hard so violent. Any moment this game could be taken away and that’s the thing I want guys to learn from this. Cherish the moments while you’re out here. Cherish tying your cleats up. Cherish the smell of the grass. Cherish snapping that chinstrap on because any moment it can be taken away from you.” Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson hadn't experienced that knot in his stomach since Josh Cribbs was knocked out in Baltimore last season. Miller's injury occurred during a helmet-to-helmet collision during a one-on-one blocking drill with a defensive lineman.
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