TE David Njoku (12.16.21)

On how he is feeling after returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list:

“I feel amazing. Through my COVID experience, I had no symptoms so I feel perfectly normal.”


On missing last week’s game against the Ravens and if there is a sense of Browns players needing to step up this week with a number of players on the reserve/COVID-19 list:

“Absolutely. Me, as well as every other player who is coming out to play on Saturday. It is next man up mentality. We all have one goal: to win the game.”


On the frustration of testing positive for COVID-19 while being asymptomatic and having to miss last week’s game:

“Of course, it was frustrating not being able to go out there with my teammates and my brothers. It is a sense of [being] powerless, but luckily, we got the job done last week, and we expect to get the job done again this weekend.”


On the experience of watching last week’s Browns-Ravens game from home:

“It was nerve-racking, but I have the complete confidence in my teammates, and they got the job done. I am very happy.”


On G Joel Bitonio mentioning the adversity this week could bring the team together even more:

“Adversity, it always strikes, regardless of whatever it is. We have had many testimonies in the past of overcoming adversity, and we expect to do the exact same thing this weekend.”


On if he was confident he would be able to return from the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, given he was asymptomatic while testing positive:



On the team’s experience while a number of players were added to the reserve/COVID-19 list and of waiting for information of who may have been added to the list on a day-to-day basis:

“Honestly, it is just mental toughness. There are going to be a lot of curve balls thrown at us, and we have seen that from start to finish the past couple of years. Every positive test is just an extra curve ball that we have to hit. Like I said, whatever the case may be, it is what it is, and we have to move forward and focus on Saturday.”


On the Raiders defense:

“For me personally, I think they are a great team. They have all of the attributes to be a great team. They have a great defensive line. They have good DBs and good linebackers. This is the NFL. Everyone is good. It is our duty to do our job every play.”


On the challenge of playing without TE Austin Hooper and how TE Harrison Bryant looked in practice today while trying to battle through an ankle injury:

“It is never pleasant losing one of our teammates for a game, but at the same time, like I said earlier, it is what it is. It is a next man up mentality. We have to push forward. I believe Harrison will be ready by Saturday, and we have to just push forward, like I said.”


On trust and confidence in QB Case Keenum, if QB Baker Mayfield is unable to play, and the additional trust and confidence provided that Browns defeated the Broncos in Week 7 with Keenum starting:

“All of the trust and confidence I have in both quarterbacks, Baker and Case. The way they work mentally and physically day in and day out and week in and week out, we are not slowing down. It is foot on the gas. We are firing the same way as if Baker was here as if Case were there. They are both great quarterbacks. I am very excited to finally play again.”


On the Browns facing a similar situation as last year’s AFC Wild Card game at the Steelers with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer likely serving as acting head coach and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt as offensive play caller and how much confidence that helps provide the team:

“100 percent. We are all professionals here. Like I said, things happen. You get thrown curveballs, and we have to adapt and overcome. On Saturday, we are going to put our best foot out, and we are going to play football.”


On how the offense operated during the AFC Wild Card game against the Steelers last season with Van Pelt as the offensive play caller:

“Exceptional. Obviously, we started early, we started fast and we finished. Alex can do it all. We have all of the confidence in him, as well. Like I keep saying, I just can’t wait to get to Saturday. I am extremely excited to finally get back out there.”


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