Browns’ Odom, USFL star, suffers season-ending knee injury

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Odom, the USFL’s Defensive Player of the Year signed during training camp, suffered a season-ending knee injury in Saturday night’s exhibition loss to the Chicago Bears.

Coach Kevin Stefanski said the 27-year-old Odom tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in the fourth quarter.

The Browns signed Odom on Aug. 5, and while he was a longshot to make Cleveland’s 53-man roster, he had shown positive flashes.

“He was doing a really nice job,” Stefanski said Sunday on a Zoom call. “A very, very good pass rusher, had a knack for it. Did a nice job in practice and had some nice moments in the preseason games.

“Very, very disappointed for him. Injuries are an unfortunate part of this game that we play and coach and we hate to see guys lose a year.”

The 6-foot-3, 262-pound Odom, who played at Arkansas State, caught Cleveland’s attention after recording 12.5 sacks last season for the USFL’s Houston Gamblers. Odom had previous stints with the Green Bay Packers and Washington Commanders.

Other than Odom, the Browns came out of their preseason finale in pretty good shape.

Stefanski said Pro Bowl right guard Wyatt Teller (knee) and safety Grant Delpit (hip) should be OK after going out with injuries in the first half.

Teller and Delpit were held out as a precaution against the Bears, but Stefanski said they would have gone back in if it had been a regular-season game.

Stefanski said starting right tackle Jack Conklin continues to make progress as he works back from season-ending knee surgery. Conklin has gotten more reps in practice over the past two weeks, but Stefanski wasn’t ready to commit to him being available for the Sept. 11 opener at Carolina.

Also, cornerback A.J. Green (hip) and safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. (hamstring) should be ready for Week 1 after being held out against Chicago.

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