The Cleveland Browns signed two-time second-team All-Pro returner Jakeem Grant this offseason to bolster their special teams, but that plan appears to have been derailed.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Grant "is feared to have torn his Achilles" in practice Tuesday and will undergo further tests to confirm.
Grant suffered the injury to his left leg during one-on-one drills and was carted off the field.
Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski said in a statement that he feels "awful" for Grant:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
Statement from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a> coach Kevin Stefanski on Jakeem Grant’s Achilles tear <a href="https://t.co/7AB2etwOUE">https://t.co/7AB2etwOUE</a> <a href="https://t.co/vtamWjsjLa">pic.twitter.com/vtamWjsjLa</a>
The Browns signed Grant to a three-year deal in March. He began his career with the Miami Dolphins as a sixth-round pick in 2016, and Miami traded him to the Chicago Bears in October.
The 29-year-old earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2021 after averaging 11.9 yards per punt return and 23.4 yards per kick return in 15 games. In his career, Grant has four punt return touchdowns and two kickoff return touchdowns. He's also recorded 100 receptions for 1,140 yards and seven scores in 81 games.
At training camp, Grant expressed his hope to put his versatility on display and be used more than as a return specialist in 2022.
"I always preach that I’m a receiver first before a returner, and I’m going to continue to preach that message, and I’m going to continue to work on that until I get that opportunity to have that breakout season," he said.
The Browns have dealt with multiple injuries to their receiving corps during camp. Star wideout Amari Cooper missed time with a minor ankle injury, and David Bell and Anthony Schwartz had injury-related absences as well. If Grant does miss significant time, it's likely that Cleveland will deploy Demetric Felton as its returner this season.
The Browns play their first preseason game Friday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.