TE Austin Hooper (11.9.20)

TE Austin Hooper:

On his appendectomy:

“It just came out of nowhere, super random. Pretty much that. Out of my control. It just kind of happened. Before I knew it, I was out on an operating table. Pretty fast process.”

On how he is currently feeling: 

“I feel great. I feel great.” 

On if he has any worries getting back on the field:

“No, ready to get rolling again.”

On if has talked to former teammate and Falcons C Alex Mack, who also had an appendectomy when playing for the Browns:

“Oh, yeah. Saw it happened, and he hit me up and was like, ‘Oh, that sucks. What is your timeline set?’ We are talking, and he is like, ‘I came back pretty quick, but I also do not get tackled in the internal organ area, either, so you might be out a little longer than I was.’ He said the same thing – just super random, was getting in and getting ready to go to work just like me and then you are headed to the ER for something completely out of your control. Definitely happy and grateful to be back here with my teammates on the field.”

On if it was nice to be able to talk with Mack who can relate to the situation:

“Yeah, it was good knowing a guy who has been through it. At the end of the day, it is not that big of a deal. A lot of people have to deal with it. Just unfortunate that it happened to me smack dab in the middle of the season. Definitely grateful to have him and just talk to him about the recovery process and things to do and things not to do. Definitely grateful to have a guy like him.”

On assessing his first six games of the season and the Browns halfway through the season:

“It is always a constant grind. Feel like I can always improve on some things. Like all players, definitely some plays I want to have back, but for the most part, I felt like I was doing my thing for the most part. There is always stuff to improve on and always another level where you can go into. That is my goal is to just try to be the best version of myself every time I go out there. I know what I need to work on, and I am ready to get rolling. I feel like that same sentiment resonates across the board with all the guys. Collectively as a unit, we have done some things but there are also plays we want back and we know that there is a different level we can all go to.”

On having multiple Browns offensive players return to practice following injuries:

“Getting your starters back on offense is always a good thing. Just having a guy like (G) Wyatt (Teller), a road raider up front… First of all, shout out to (T) Chris Hubbard and (T) Kendall Lamm. Being able to fill in and not just fill in but ball at the level that they did, they deserve a ton of credit. Yes, it is awesome having Wyatt Teller back and just the juice he brings and the physicality and the nastiness. Definitely a guy that is a lot of fun to play with on gameday when he is burying people. (RB) Nick (Chubb) obviously is one of the premier backs in this league so it is definitely awesome having those guys back.”

On if he is eager to see the one-two punch with Chubb and RB Kareem Hunt back on the field together: 

“It is always great when you have both of your top two running backs back. Just having that one-two punch back and just allowing Kareem not to have to carry the load, so to speak. Having Nick back in there is going to be awesome, along with (RB) D’Ernest (Johnson). Those guys are doing an awesome job. You also have (RB) Dontrell (Hilliard) who can come in and do his thing, as well. We have a very deep and versatile running back room, but having Nick Chubb back is huge.”

On Teller bringing a bit of ‘nastiness’ to the Browns offense and if that type of attitude is contagious:  

“It is definitely fun when you have a guy like that on the field just burying people and having fun with it, laughing and joking around. He definitely has that infectious personality that I think resonates with not just the offensive side of the ball but the entire team. Definitely good to have a guy like that back.”


On his reaction when learning QB Baker Mayfield was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list:  

“This is the new normal, right? It kind of is what it is, unfortunately. Definitely sucks. Baker is not just my teammate but one of my friends, as well, and my neighbor. When you see that happen, you definitely feel for him and his wife. I am an optimistic person, and I think they are going to be alright. Time will tell, right? This is the new normal.”


On if it can be hard for everyone to keep their guard up related to COVID-19 and health and safety protocols for a full 17-week season:  

“For sure, you could be doing everything right, and then you go to a restaurant socially distancing and a waiter who does not know that they have it slips their mask, coughs, forgets to wash something, touches the plate that ends up being… You know what I mean? There are a million different ways you can get it. Someone can cough and the ventilation system has it. It is a nameless, faceless thing that is coming after you. It is hard, even when you are as precautionary as we are in this building and away from the building. It is a global pandemic. It is non-discriminatory just to the NFL. This is something people around the world are having an issue with, not just the NFL.”


On coming out of the bye week with a mostly healthy Browns roster:  

“Whenever you have your starters back, it is a good thing. Definitely having everyone back up, and the bye week – even if you were not down, so to speak – just allows you to correct all those little ailments within your body and all those little tweaks, pulls and some spots that there is an ouch somewhere. It just allows you to get some sleep throughout the week and really come back fresh, so to speak. It is huge.”

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