Takk McKinley returned after a three-week absence with the Browns, who are cautiously optimistic the defensive end has addressed personal issues that forced him to step away last month.
McKinley took part in the first part of training on Tuesday. As the Browns began to stretch, the 25-year-old was seen walking into the team’s training facility with a staff member.
Coach Kevin Stefanski said McKinley, who signed a one-year, $ 4 million free agent deal with Cleveland in March, returned a few days ago.
“He’s doing fine, he’s working and hopefully we’ll see more of him as he goes,” Stefanski said. “He’s in a good place, ready to go.”
McKinley last trained with the Browns on July 31, when he fell ill during afternoon practice for the second day in a row. Stefanski said on August 6 that McKinley was excused for personal reasons.
The Browns are hoping McKinley can add experience and depth to their revamped defense along with side stars Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. McKinley seemed to be playing well early in training camp before leaving.
Safety John Johnson III has said McKinley’s return is a boost for all Browns.
“It’s awesome,” Johnson said. “He came with me in this whole free agency class so it was good to get our team back strong and I hope all he has to do is done he can get down to business. good to have it here.
Stefanski did not disclose any details as to why McKinley, 25, was absent.
“We support all of our guys, in the building, outside the building,” Stefanski said. “So he has our support, has my support and I think the guys are delighted to have him back.”
McKinley was drafted in the first round by Atlanta in 2017. He spent four seasons with the Falcons before being suspended last season. He was claimed by two other teams and then placed on Las Vegas’ injured list after failing his physical exam.
McKinley was excited to come to Cleveland for a fresh start and he looked like he could start against Garrett before the Browns signed Clowney to a one-year, $ 8 million contract in April.
NOTES: Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah needed stitches in his forehead to close a head injury sustained in a weightlifting accident. Owusu-Koramoah was kept out of training but Stefanski said “he’s fine”. … CB Denzel Ward (leg pain) and Greedy Williams (hamstrings), S Grant Delpit (hamstrings) WR Anthony Schwartz (hamstrings) and LB Sione Takitaki (hamstrings) were among those who worked next door. … OL Nick Harris was back after a few days of absence due to a knee injury. … K Cody Parkey was released from the injured reserve after being placed there on Monday with a quadriceps injury.