G Wyatt Teller (11.11.20)

G Wyatt Teller:

On how it feels to be back on the practice field: 

“It feels good. It has been a process the past four weeks. I wanted to make it back, but I do not want the same injury to be nagging all year. You definitely want to take advantage of the bye week, take advantage of the couple weeks that I had off and come back with a vengeance to get this game back on track.”

On if the past few weeks helped give him time to self-evaluate and think about what he can do moving forward: 

“No doubt. I wish it was shorter. I wish it was only a week, but given the four weeks, there was a lot of self-assessment, especially this past week with the bye for everyone. For me, the two weeks that I had off, I did not know if I was coming back that second week, that third week or that fourth week. I was like, ‘I really have to focus on how I can do better and what I can improve on,’ which is always the line. I am always trying to get better, I am always trying to improve and perfect the things that are not perfect, which is a lot. With that mindset with Coach and everything like that, it was kind of weird being away from everybody and even with COVID and already a weird season, being even further away, it kind of sucked. I am happy to be back. I am happy with the guys.”

On how he sustained his injury: 

“What it was, (Colts DT) DeForest (Buckner), it was a pass play, and I snatched him down and he is a long guy. When he fell, he kind of fell between my legs, and obviously, I am not going to sit on DeForest Buckner. I am going to get off him as fast as possible. I tried to get off of him, and as I was popping my foot up to get to kind of get off him and back, it just popped. It was just one of those things it was like getting stabbed in the leg, like, ‘Whoa, what the heck is that?’ I played three more plays on top of it, and then we got the first down and I looked over at (C) JC (Tretter), and I was like, ‘JC, I do not know man.’ He goes, ‘Sit down.’ I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ I sat down and (Senior Vice President of Player Health & Development) Joe (Sheehan) came and saw me, and I ended up doing maybe two more field goals after that or point after touchdowns. I was done after that first half.”

On if he initially was worried that it could be a season-ending injury: 

“No, but you pray not. That is where your mind goes, but there are two ways you can handle a situation – half-glass full or a glass half-empty, and I looked at it as a full. I was like, ‘I have so much to improve on. I have so much to work on. I can now sit behind the TV or sit behind the computer and really study and really focus on all those little things. While I can’t physically do it, I can mentally go through the gymnastics of the game.’ There was a lot of learning that even without the physical part of it you still take on. There was still a lot of work to be done.”

On how long he was down where he could not physically do anything: 

“Not too long. It was only a Grade 2 calf strain, which means the ligament came off the bone a little bit but not fully, which is good. I was moving around. I was in a boot and moving with the boot, and I still feel like I am walking with a pimp walk or something (laughter). I do not know. It is kind of funny. That boot is like five pounds of walking around with the heavy old boot on. I am just trying to get back to normal and run fast and hit hard.”

On initially being listed as week to week when injured and if he has ever experienced something like this injury in his career:   

“No, I have never missed a play due to an injury. This is the first time that I have ever missed a single play, let alone a whole game. God is good. He has provided for me for this long. It is a numbers game, right? I am still blessed. It could have been much, much worse. I am back out there. I think why (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) said that was because we had not had the MRI by then. I think the media – no offense – it is, ‘Hey, when is Wyatt getting back? How is Wyatt?’ There is no perfect answer. I think that Coach was like, ‘Hey, we do not know yet. We hope that it is week by week.’ It turned out to be a little bit longer than I wish it was.”

On if there was a level of frustration when sustaining his injury, given how well he had played to start the season:

“Again, I guess when it first happened, you are kind of like, ‘Dang, I was playing, I was playing hard and I was playing well.’ I knew it wasn’t life altering. I knew that it felt like a stab in the back of the leg. I knew that it wasn’t normal, but I knew it wasn’t my knee, I knew it wasn’t my hip and I knew it wasn’t my foot. God is good. I viewed that as a positive almost. As I was getting in the shoe, I could still walk. I could barely jog out there, but I still jogged out for field goal and did that. I could still do a little bit so there was still hope. Then hearing that it was a Grade 2 strain, two to four weeks, you are like, ‘OK. Two weeks.’ That is what you are focused on – two weeks, two weeks, two weeks. Then you realize maybe this takes a little bit longer than two weeks to get right. It is a process. Honestly, embracing it is the best part and learning your body throughout it. Like I said, this is the first injury so it is all new to me. You have to kind of learn yourself.”

On Chubb and him returning to practice and if both of their returns could help bring the Browns running game back to the level it was playing earlier in the year:

“Yeah, I really hope so. I think that is a culmination of Hoop (TE Austin Hooper), Nick and me, it is a whole thing. I won’t put it on a single anybody… But Nick, Nick is damn near superhuman (laughter). He is a good player. I am excited to come back with him. I am thankful. We were joking around when we were in rehab, ‘Make sure you know where I always am, OK. Make sure you know where I always am.’ I said, ‘No problem. I know where you are from now on out.’ We have been getting along and we have been enjoying a little bit of downtime, even though I know we both wish we were out there.”

On clarifying if his joking with Chubb about ‘know where I always am’ is due to the fact that Chubb was injured on a play where bodies were pushed into him:

“No, not that. More of… Well, I guess that, too… Shoot. (laughter). It seems like last year, the summersault block into the knockdown that the guy ended up getting up and running down Nick, and Nick somehow the only fumble he had in four years. It is just a weird thing. This year versus the Ravens, I pull and knock out my guy, he falls to the ground and as he is going down, his hand hits the ball out. It is just like, ‘Know where I am, Wyatt.’ ‘OK, you got it. You got it Nick. I got you, buddy.’”

On if he feels optimistic about playing Sunday:

“Yes, I do. I do not want to give 100 percent either way. It is a process, right? I pray that I can get back and I can start working through. Again, I did not have to relearn to walk. There is still getting back to the speed of the game and all this different stuff. I think that a big part of it is really getting back into it. That starts this week. I got to practice a little bit more and steadily practiced more. I pray, but we do not know. That is Coach’s decision.”

On if his pride was burst at all by missing a game since he had not been injured before in his career:

“No, not exactly. It is a pride thing, right? I think that just seeing JC and all the problems or bangs and bruises and injuries that he goes through. It just depends on which one it was. There are some you can play through. There are some you can’t. (Former Browns T) Joe Thomas – ironman, absolutely stud – played 10 years straight every snap and tore his bicep. You can’t play through that. If that happened Year 5, who knows if that snap streak would have been a thing? All I am saying is you pray that your injury is not serious and you can move on, and if it is serious, you hope it is at the end of the year and you do not miss a snap.”

On if the Browns offense and OL wanting to be first in rushing is a motivator, understanding winning games is the first priority:

“Yeah, of course. That is Coach’s goal. That is our offensive line goal. We have an identity, and we want to be guys who are tough, guys who run the ball and guys who are not afraid. It does not matter if you know we are running or not. That is the mentality a good offensive line has and that is what we need to have if we want to be or return to be a great offensive line. I think that happens with the leaders we have in the room, showing up early to do work and doing all of these different things that build and offensive line room, whether it be the first five or the guys who come in after due to injury or whatever. I think that it comes from a solid group, and I think that we have that. There are a lot of parts to a pretty potent offense that hurt us. I do not think that injuries… Most importantly, I think that we played a little bit of a rollercoaster all year and some of the issues we had early on that we got past hit us. Stubbed our toe towards the second half of the first half of the season – the past four games. I do not view it as a we can’t do it or it is too far or it is unattainable. I really do believe that with Nick back there, Hoop coming back and (RB) Kareem (Hunt) feeling a little bit better that he is not having to carry the ball every single time, and I know that that will make him feel better and be happy that Nick is there.”

On if it was frustrating watching the Raiders beat them ‘at their own game’:

“Yeah, of course it is frustrating. Like you said, there is a little bit of pride. When it is our game to run the ball and we can’t do it and somehow they are doing it, it is like, “What the heck. Why can’t we get this done? Why can’t we do that?’ It is frustrating but at the same time, who are you going to cry to? It is the NFL when you have to kind of move on and re-identify yourself each week. I think the bye week helped us truly find our identity and get back to what we are good at.”

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