Browns' David Njoku 'I Should've Been Blinded' Opens Up On Burn Accident

David Njoku's face was badly burned in the fire pit accident, but things could've been way worse ... the Browns star says his eyes were open when the fireball burned his face, and he could've lost his eyesight.

“I give all the glory to God. When it happened my eyes were open, so I saw everything and I really should’ve been blinded,” Njoku told reporters, adding ... "Luckily I'm not, so I give all glory to God."

Of course, the 27-year-old, former first-round draft pick stamped his status as one of the toughest dudes around when he played the week 4 game against the Ravens just days after the incident, somehow wearing a helmet over the burned area.

“All the pain and suffering from training in the offseason is far worse than any of this,” Njoku said.

The Browns lost handily to Baltimore, 28-3, but David was a bright spot, catching 6 passes for 46 yards ... despite the burns.

Initially, Njoku didn't reveal the injury. In fact, he walked in and out of the locker room with a mask that covered his whole face.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Then, earlier this week, David shared a photo from shortly after the incident, in addition to a photo showing the burns healing, albeit slowly.

As for how he's feeling now ... how's this for good news?

"Never felt better."

Ex-Raiders RB Napoleon McCallum To Nick Chubb ... 'You Gotta Weigh Your Future Life'


Napoleon McCallum -- the ex-Raiders running back who nearly lost his leg after suffering a devastating knee injury during a game in 1994 -- is advising Nick Chubb to consider all of his options before coming back to the football field full-time.

The former Oakland tailback tells TMZ Sports ... if he had the chance to sit and talk with the Cleveland star following the 27-year-old's injury last Monday night -- he'd be sure to get that message across to him.

"I understand it's hard to leave," McCallum said of what he'd say to Chubb. "You just gotta weigh your future life and all the great things that you can do with family and friends."

TikTok / @drdavidabbasi

McCallum's injury was far more serious than Chubb's -- he ruptured an artery and severed a nerve in addition to tearing his ligaments on a run play against the San Francisco 49ers -- but he nonetheless knows at least part of the road Chubb will have to go down in order to feel normal again.

For McCallum, the end of that journey meant never playing football again ... an outcome he seems to think Chubb should at the very least consider.

"I just wish him the best," he said.

As for how McCallum is feeling all these years after hurting his knee ... he tells us he just had both of his legs operated on during COVID -- and is actually doing "great" now.

Minkah Fitzpatrick 'I'm Not A Dirty Player' ... Defends Chubb Tackle


Minkah Fitzpatrick says he was not trying to end Nick Chubb's season when his goal line tackle resulted in a devastating injury ... defending himself and claiming the controversial hit wasn't a dirty play.

The three-time Pro Bowler broke his silence on the incident with reporters on Thursday ... clapping back at critics who say the result could have been prevented.

"You can tell me how to tackle him low, but it's a fast game," Fitzpatrick said. "It's a game where you make decisions in milliseconds."

Courtesy of NFL

"Can't really control what happens after you choose to make your decision. I already chose to go low. Somebody got on his back when I was going low, and what happened happened. There's nothing I really would do differently."

Chubb will be sidelined for the rest of the season ... and his football career remains up in the air as a long road to recovery awaits him.

Fitzpatrick said it's still unfortunate what happened and he hopes Chubb gets well soon.

"Nick Chubb's a great player," Fitzpatrick said. "He makes the game a lot better when he's playing."


Not everyone is criticizing Fitzpatrick for the tackle ... Steelers legend James Harrison told us the blame for the hit falls on the NFL's shoulders due to its restrictive tackling rules.

James Harrison Blame NFL Rules For Nick Chubb Injury ... Not Minkah Fitzpatrick!!!


James Harrison says it's the NFL's fault Nick Chubb is done for the season -- not Minkah Fitzpatrick's -- telling TMZ Sports he believes the league's rules forced the Steelers safety to go low on Monday night.

The former Pittsburgh superstar didn't mince words when talking about the hit that ended Chubb's season ... explaining he thinks Fitzpatrick had no other choice than to aim for the Browns tailback's knees on the controversial play.

"You've made it to where if a guy goes in there and comes in high and hits him in the head, now he's getting fined," Harrison said. "So what do you have to do? You've got guys shooting low now. That's just what you've done made the game into."

TikTok / @drdavidabbasi

In fact, Harrison says if he were still playing today ... he fears he would have caused similar injuries in an effort to avoid penalties and fines from NFL officials.

"To be honest with you, there would probably be a whole lot more people getting hurt," he said. "Because I'm going to shoot at your legs."

Not all have agreed with Harrison ... former NFL wideout-turned-broadcaster Nate Burleson said on Tuesday he thought Fitzpatrick could have done a whole lot more to avoid hurting Chubb.

The 27-year-old running back, meanwhile, has yet to publicly comment on the hit ... as he's in the process of undergoing surgeries to fix the damage done to his ligaments.

James Harrison Culpa a la NFL y sus reglas de la lesión de Nick Chubb... No a Minkah Fitzpatrick!!!

Es parte de las reglas del juego

James Harrison dice que es culpa de la NFL que Nick Chubb esté fuera por toda la temporada, no de Minkah Fitzpatrick. James le dijo a TMZ Sports que cree que las reglas de la liga obligaron a los defensas de los Steelers a apuntar hacia abajo la noche del lunes.

El ex superestrella de Pittsburgh no se anduvo con rodeos al hablar sobre el golpe que puso fin a la temporada de Chubb, explicando que cree que Fitzpatrick no tenía otra opción más que apuntar las rodillas del tailback de los Browns en la polémica jugada.

"Has llegado a un punto en el que si un tipo entra ahí y llega alto y te golpea en la cabeza, ahora lp multan", dijo Harrison. "¿Qué tienes que hacer? Ahora los chicos tiran bajo. En eso se ha convertido el juego".

Seriamente lesionado
TikTok / @drdavidabbasi

De hecho, Harrison dice que si todavía estuviera jugando hoy, teme que habría provocado lesiones similares en un esfuerzo por evitar sanciones y multas de los oficiales de la NFL.

"Para ser honesto, probablemente habría mucha más gente lesionada", dijo. "Porque les habría disparado en las piernas".

No todos han estado de acuerdo con Harrison. El ex jugador de la NFL y hoy locutor, Nate Burleson, dijo el martes que pensaba que Fitzpatrick podría haber hecho mucho más para evitar lastimar a Chubb.

El corredor de 27 años, por su parte, aún no ha comentado públicamente sobre el golpe, ya que está en proceso de someterse a cirugías para reparar el daño hecho a sus ligamentos.

Nick Chubb Injury Could be Career Threatening ... Says Orthopedic Surgeon

TikTok / @drdavidabbasi

"This is a serious injury and it will need reconstructive surgery. He will definitely be out the rest of this year. Next year is in question, as well. And, so is his career."

That's orthopedic sports surgeon, Dr. David Abbasi ... offering his medical opinion on Nick Chubb's gruesome knee injury, sustained during the first half of the Browns vs. Steelers Monday Night Football game.

Abbasi is a double board certified fellowship trained ortho surgeon specializing in shoulder, elbows, and knees ... and although he hasn't treated 27-year-old Chubb, he has been the sideline physician for the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bearcats, FIU Panthers and a bunch of big UFC fights.

The Browns have not yet announced the specifics of the injury to the 4x Pro Bowler, but Abbasi says it's clear there was a knee dislocation, and with that, serious ligament damage.

"You can see he gets hit on his knee. That is his knee dislocating out," the doctor explained, "His knee popped out of place."

Thankfully, Abassi says the knee went back into place moments later ... and that's important because it limits the risk to the nerves and the blood vessels "which can be limb threatening."

The bad news ... for the knee to pop out the way it did, David says, "[Chubb] had to have torn at least two of the four ligaments, but usually it's more than two ligaments."

"The knee ligaments I'm referring to here consist of the ACL, the PCL, the MCL, and the LCL. I would not be surprised if at least three, if not all four of these have torn."

After the MNF game, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Chubb would be out for this season.

It's not the first time the 4x Pro Bowler has dealt with a serious injury to his left knee. Back in 2015, Chubb tore three ligaments (all but the LCL) in a college football game vs. Tennessee. He missed the rest of the season but was back for '16.

Here's hoping for another quick comeback ... and a fully healthy Nick Chubb in 2024!

NFL Star Nick Chubb Suffers Gruesome Knee Injury ... Out For Season

Courtesy of NFL

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb suffered a horrific knee injury Monday night ... one that was so bad, ABC chose not to air close-up replays of it.

The NFL star and his team were going toe to toe against the Steelers during a primetime game in Pittsburgh ... when Chubb got knocked out of the contest in the second quarter.

During one of the plays ... Deshaun Watson handed the ball to the 27-year-old tailback, who sprang forward into a crush of helmets, getting tackled by Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Moments later, Chubb was unable to get to his feet even with the help of his teammate. He grimaced and writhed in pain as he gripped his left knee -- which he also severely injured in 2015 while playing college football.

A far-away replay showed Chubb's leg had bent in a way it shouldn't have ... and both Joe Buck and Troy Aikman -- the game's broadcasters -- told the audience they would not be showing the other angle of the hit due to its gruesomeness.

Chubb was then carted off the field to cheers from the opposing crowd at Acrisure Stadium.

Cleveland Browns

After the game, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters Chubb suffered a "significant knee injury" -- one that will almost certainly sideline the running back for the rest of the season.

Making matters worse for Cleveland, the Steelers went on to win the game, 26-22. Not a good night for the Browns.

Estrella de la NFLA Nick Chubb Sufre una horrible lesión de rodilla Fuera por la temporada

La fuerte lesión
Courtesy of NFL

El corredor de los Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb, sufrió una terrible lesión de rodilla el lunes por la noche, tan mala, que ABC optó por no transmitir repeticiones en primer plano de ella.

La estrella de la NFL y su equipo se enfrentaban a los Steelers en un partido en horario prime en Pittsburgh, cuando Chubb quedó fuera de combate en el segundo cuarto.

Durante una de las jugadas, Deshaun Watson le entregó el balón al jugador de 27 años, quien saltó hacia adelante, y fue aplacado por los Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Momentos después, Chubb fue incapaz de ponerse en pie incluso con la ayuda de su compañero de equipo. Hizo una mueca y se retorció de dolor mientras se agarraba la rodilla izquierda, que también se lesionó gravemente en 2015 mientras jugaba en la universidad.

Una repetición lejana muestra que la pierna de Chubb se dobló de una manera que no es la debida, y tanto Joe Buck como Troy Aikman, los locutores del juego, le dijeron a la audiencia que no iban a mostrar el otro ángulo del golpe, por lo fuerte que era.

Chubb fue sacado del campo entre los vítores de la multitud en el Estadio Acrisure.

No se ve bien
Cleveland Browns

Después del partido, el entrenador de los Browns, Kevin Stefanski, dijo a los periodistas que Chubb sufrió una "lesión significativa en la rodilla", una que casi con toda seguridad lo dejará fuera por el resto de la temporada.

Para empeorar las cosas para los Cleveland, los Steelers ganaron el partido por 26-22. Definitivamente no fue una buena noche para los Browns.

Johnny Manziel I Planned To Kill Myself, Bought Gun ... After Hitting Rock Bottom

Johnny Manziel is opening up on his serious mental health battles following his NFL career ... revealing he purchased a gun and intended to use it on himself.

The former Heisman Trophy winner addressed his suicidal thoughts in Netflix's "Untold: Johnny Football" documentary, which drops next week ... saying he had his demise all mapped out -- he would blow all his money, and then take his own life.

"I think I was just running from problems," Manziel said. "It was probably a $5 million bender. Direct self-sabotage, trying to burn this thing down."

Manziel's issues on and off the field were well-documented at the time ... and he said he burned so many bridges that he felt "the ride was over."

"I had planned to do everything that I wanted to do at that point in my life. Spend as much money as I possibly could and then my plan was to take my life. Months prior, I went and bought a gun I knew I was going to use. I wanted to get as bad as humanly possible to where it made sense and it made it seem like an excuse and an out for me."

It's unclear if Manziel actually attempted suicide ... but he said "the gun just clicked on me."

Johnny appears to be doing much better now ... and he's even opening his own bar near his old college campus at Texas A&M this fall.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat

Deshaun Watson's GF Pounces On QB At Browns Camp

Deshaun Watson's biggest fan was in attendance at Browns training camp on Tuesday ... with the quarterback's girlfriend showing some serious love for her man.

Model, influencer, and musician Jilly Anais rolled through Berea to check out #4 as he prepares for his first full season as the starter for the Orange and Brown ... and she was clearly thrilled to meet up with him after practice, 'cause she jumped in his arms and wrapped her legs around him.

"Year 7 for my quarterback," Jilly captioned her pic with Watson, who had a big smile on his face.

Watson and Anais have been inseparable for a long time -- they recently celebrated their four-year anniversary as a couple last month.

Anais' support for the signal-caller hasn't wavered one bit ... despite his recent controversy surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple massage therapists.

It's safe to say Watson will have his favorite cheerleader in the stands when the Browns open their season against the Cincinnati Bengals ... and they'll need all the support he can get against the reigning AFC North champions.

NFL Legend Joe Thomas Attacked By Military Dogs!!! ... In Wild Demonstration

USAA, Official NFL Salute to Service Partner

Joe Thomas has gone from playing in front of the Dawg Pound to getting bitten by them -- the Cleveland Browns legend was viciously attacked by canines in a crazy demonstration at a military base!!

The 2023 Hall of Fame inductee and fellow ex-NFL star Whitney Mercilus hit up the Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio in partnership with USAA ... where they got a full VIP meet and greet with the four-legged military sidekicks that are trained to locate explosives, narcotics, and personnel.

Thomas and Mercilus found out firsthand just how talented these doggos are ... 'cause they threw on some bite suits and agreed to run a 40-yard dash while being chased down by the animals.

Tech. Sergeant Hendrix warned Thomas and Mercilus before the demo ... "They are trained to bite and hold until we tell them to let go."

Despite the head's up, Thomas and Mercilus were ready to go against the dog with the strongest bite out of the bunch ... and let's just say they were doomed from the start.

The video is unreal -- Thomas barely made it a few strides before the dog launched into his back, clinging on for dear life before bringing the former offensive tackle to a complete stop.

"My heart rate was as high as I can remember, probably since I was playing football," Thomas said.

Both Thomas and Mercilus ended up being dragged to the ground by the military dog during the drill ... and thankfully, they made it out alive.

"It was awesome to see both these military working dogs and their handlers, who help protect our country," Thomas tweeted. "Thank you for your service!"

Browns' Perrion Winfrey Released Amid Police Probe Allegedly Hit Woman, Threatened W/ Gun


10:44 AM PT -- TMZ Sports has obtained the police report from the alleged incident involving Winfrey.


According to the docs, the alleged victim saw the now ex-Browns defender in a hotel lobby and called out his name, but he didn't respond. The accuser told cops she yelled out, calling him a "p***y," angering Winfrey, who started walking in her direction.


The woman told police she quickly exited the lobby with a friend and began recording on her phone, as she was concerned over what Perrion may do.


The woman told cops Winfrey attempted to grab her phone, and said "I'll smack the s**t outta you," and "you know I got it on me," before allegedly lunging and striking her in the neck. The woman also claimed Winfrey lifted his shirt, revealing a dark gray handgun.


Winfrey ultimately left the scene. Police then responded, and took statements from the alleged victim and her friend, who also told cops she saw Winfrey flash a pistol.


While law enforcement was on the scene, Winfrey called the alleged victim, who put him on the line with police. According to the cops, PW said the women were "harassing him" and admitted to taking their phones. The cop asked Winfrey to return to the hotel. but he refused, saying he was a Browns player and was concerned about security.


Winfrey ended up returning the phones, dropping them off near the hotel, where cops retrieved them. Police were then able to watch video taken by the woman before/during the attack, where Perrion is allegedly heard threatening to "smack" her.


Cops say they observed a "red abrasion" on the victim's left side of her neck.


Perrion Winfrey has not been arrested, but has been listed as a suspect in an aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.


The Cleveland Browns are parting ways with defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey ... just hours after a woman claims he threatened her and flashed a gun.

According to local reports, Winfrey is accused of getting into an altercation with a woman at a downtown Cleveland hotel Tuesday night.

The woman -- who claims to know Winfrey -- said she and a friend saw the former Oklahoma star in the hotel lobby ... and one of them hurled an insult at him when they were ignored.

The two women say Winfrey then got pissed and approached them ... making a threat and showing he had a weapon.

Winfrey reportedly left the scene by the time cops arrived. He has not been arrested or charged.

The alleged incident is currently under investigation, but the Browns wasted no time washing their hands of Winfrey ... cutting him early Wednesday morning.

Winfrey was arrested back in April for assaulting a woman he was seeing at the time ... but the charges were later dismissed after he completed a pretrial diversion program.

Winfrey played in 13 games for the Browns during his rookie season ... earning 22 tackles and 0.5 sacks.

Originally Published -- 7:31 AM PT

Bengals Diss Browns Over White Helmets ... You Ripped Us Off!!!

The Battle of Ohio is getting an offseason showdown this year ... 'cause the Cincinnati Bengals just went after the Cleveland Browns over their white throwback helmets -- claiming they're a blatant rip-off!!

The Browns announced the bold new look on Tuesday ... revealing players will rock non-orange helmets for several games this season -- something the franchise hasn't done in more than 70 years.

While famous Browns supporters like LeBron James praised the clean combo, the Bengals -- who rocked alternate white domes last season -- were far from thrilled ... calling out the team for jacking their swag.

The Bengals shared old footage of team owner Mike Brown discussing the two teams' similar jerseys and colors back in the day ... saying former Browns honcho Art Modell believed Cincy "ripped off" Cleveland's look.

In other words, the Bengals think the roles have been reversed.

The Browns clapped back with their own tweet ... pointing out the fact the team rocked white helmets from 1946-51 -- way before the Bengals even existed.

The two teams face off in Week 1 ... so they can settle the beef on the field.

NFL's Perrion Winfrey Assault Case Dismissed

Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey is no longer facing an assault charge ... TMZ Sports has confirmed his criminal case has been dismissed.

According to court records, prosecutors dropped the charge on Friday ... after the 22-year-old completed a pretrial diversion program.

Winfrey was initially arrested back on April 10 ... after officials alleged he got physical during a dispute with a woman whom he was dating.

Authorities claimed in court documents Winfrey pulled the woman's hand, causing her injuries.

Despite the legal case, Winfrey has still been a participant in Browns' offseason workouts this month.

The defensive tackle played in 13 games last season, tallying 22 combined tackles and .5 a sack. He's expected to compete for regular a spot on the Browns' gameday roster this year.

Jim Brown Dead At 87

Jim Brown, arguably the greatest football player of all time, has died at the age of 87, TMZ Sports has confirmed.

"It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my husband, Jim Brown," Monique Brown tells us. "He passed away peacefully last night at our L.A. home. To the world he was an activist, actor and football star."

"To our family, he was a loving and wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Our hearts are broken."

We're told Jim hadn't been doing well ... and was recently visited by several of his close friends including Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and Flavor Flav.

Brown, a first-round pick in 1957 (6th overall), went on to win 3 NFL MVP awards. Jim was named to 8 First Team All-Pro teams over the course of his incredible career. He led the NFL in rushing 8 times, and rushing touchdowns, 5. He won a championship in 1964.

Aside from his prowess on the football field, Brown was also a legendary lacrosse player at Syracuse, where he earned All-American honors.

After his athletic career, Jim went on to star as a Hollywood actor ... in films like "The Dirty Dozen" and "Any Given Sunday."

In addition to his incredible athleticism and talent on the big screen, Jim was also one of the most prominent voices on the civil rights scene.

Brown held the Cleveland Summit in June 1967, in support of Muhammad Ali, who refused to serve in the Vietnam War.

Brown was joined by Bill Russell and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and others.

The Cleveland Browns released a statement on Friday ... saying, "Legend. Leader. Activist. Visionary."

"It's impossible to describe the profound love and gratitude we feel for having the opportunity to be a small piece of Jim’s incredible life and legacy. We mourn his passing, but celebrate the indelible light he brought to the world."

"Our hearts are with Jim’s family, loved ones, and all those he impacted along the way."

Brown, whose #32 was retired by the Browns, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971 ... and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995. He's also a member of the Lacrosse HOF.

Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter also spoke on Brown's passing ... saying, "When Jim Brown’s name was announced in a room, other Hall of Famers stood and applauded him."

"His persona has stood the test of time -- a fearless and dominant football player. Jim will always be remembered as one of pro football’s greatest individuals."

Brown was last seen out in public during Super Bowl weekend ... appearing at the NFL Honors ceremony, where Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders announced the league's annual rushing trophy would be named in his honor.

Flav shared a picture with Brown from that night in his tribute to the legend ... saying, "Today, I lost my mentor and hero. RIP Jim Brown. My deepest sympathies to your wife, Monique and your entire family."

LeBron James also shared a touching post in Brown's honor ... saying, "We lost a hero today. Rest in Paradise to the legend Jim Brown."

"I hope every Black athlete takes the time to educate themselves about this incredible man and what he did to change all of our lives. We all stand on your shoulders Jim Brown."

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Brown's life off the field was not without controversy -- he was arrested over numerous allegations of violence against women spanning several decades. He was charged with rape, sexual battery and assault in 1985, although the case was later dismissed.

Brown was also busted for smashing the windows of his wife's car in 1999 ... and served three months behind bars after skipping mandatory domestic violence counseling.


We discussed Jim Brown's legacy in a recent episode of the Last Days Podcast, available on all podcast platforms.

Story developing ...

NFL's Chris Smith Former Defensive End Dead At 31 ... The Rock Mourns Loss


1:19 PM PT -- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson -- who owns the XFL -- shared his condolences on social media ... saying, "I was so sorry to hear this news."


"Heartbroken for Chris' family. Our entire XFL universe sends it love, light and strength to the Smith family. Stay strong. We are here."

Chris Smith -- a former NFL defensive end who was playing in the XFL this season -- has passed away, according to his agent. He was only 31.

NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed the devastating news via Twitter on Tuesday, sending condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.

"Rest in Peace Chris," Rosenhaus tweeted. "We will miss you."

Details surrounding his passing are unknown at this time.

Several tributes from fans and athletes were shared on social media after the announcement, including Buffalo Bills' Shaq Lawson who tweeted, "Man prayers up for Chris Smith family."

"This one hurts."

Cleveland Browns star David Njoku said the death of Smith is heartbreaking as he was a "hometown hero" and had "such a kind soul."

Smith was a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft after spending four seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks where he was named Second-team All-SEC.

The North Carolina native played for the Jaguars, Bengals, Browns, Panthers, Raiders, Ravens, and Texans during his 8-year NFL career. He had 80 total tackles, 11 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles.

During the 2018-19 season with the Browns, Smith's girlfriend and mother of his daughter, Petara Cordero, was tragically killed after she was struck by a passing car after getting out of Chris's car.

Smith was starting a new career in the XFL and just signed with the Seattle Sea Dragons on March 9.


Originally Published -- 6:44 AM PT

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