Things just keep going from bad to worse for the Cleveland Browns, and it’s been a very unlucky season for Browns fans. Not only did Brian Hoyer go down with an ACL tear earlier this season, but playmaking returner and wider receiver Travis Benjamin also tore his ACL in yesterday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Rob Chudzinski announced the news yesterday, and it’s a tough blow for the Browns. While Benjamin wasn’t a mainstay at receiver or anything, he could make a big play in a pinch and played a crucial role on returns.
Benjamin’s speed makes him such a dangerous proposition for defenses, because he can capture lightning in a bottle and create something out of nothing. That sort of game-breaking speed has made him an amazing player on punt returns, as he returned one for a touchdown earlier this season against the Buffalo Bills. Benjamin had 257 punt return yards and 146 kick-off returns, and it will be interesting to see who the Browns tab as Benjamin’s replacement on punt returns. After Davone Bess’s fumble yesterday on a punt in the fourth quarter, it seems like his chances are significantly lower.
So while Benjamin had just 150 yards from scrimmage this season, he did a nice job giving this team some explosive, playmaking ability and is definitely one to watch for the future. Hopefully his recovery from this ACL tear goes perfectly, because you would hate to see someone like Benjamin lose even a little bit of his explosion. Like Hoyer’s ACL tear, Benjamin’s didn’t seem that serious, so it just goes to show you how tough it is to predict the severity of injuries. Benjamin is just 23, so he should be up and at ‘em next year as the Browns X-factor.