BEREA, Ohio — As Ryan Miller lay motionless on the ground, shock and then fear spread through the Browns practice.
A few players near the spot where the backup offensive lineman went down dropped to a knee in prayer. The music system was turned off. All talking stopped and an eerie quiet filled Cleveland's indoor field house.
Suddenly, a routine day at training camp was anything but.
"Anytime your brother goes down it's scary," linebacker Quentin Groves said, "because you never know. ... We're just big men that play a sport called football. But we still have hearts. We still have emotions. We still have feelings. He's our brother."
Miller sustained a concussion during a one-on-one blocking drill Saturday, an injury that shook his teammates, who were later relieved to learn that the 6-foot-7, 320-pounder had been released from the Cleveland Clinic. Until getting word that Miller had movement in his extremities and was responsive, several of the Browns were worried Miller may have suffered a devastating injury.
"It's always tough to see your fellow linemen or one of your teammates go down like that," Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas said. "It's hard because obviously there are things more important than football and your health is certainly one of them. Sometimes it's hard to get back and focused on football when you see a guy laying there and not moving."
Miller, who is in his second NFL season, was immobilized, strapped to a backboard and taken by ambulance to the hospital after he was hurt. He spent several hours undergoing tests before he was released.
"He's doing well," first-year coach Rob Chudzinski said following practice. "He's responsive and it sounds like things are better at this point."
The Browns were about 40 minutes into their third practice, which was moved indoors because of rain and closed to the public, when Miller got hurt. He crumpled to the field and appeared to be unconscious on his back while most of teammates, who were unaware that he had been hurt, continued to take part in drills.
Groves realized something was seriously wrong and began alerting anyone he could.
"The way he was laying down, you know it was that serious," he said.
Moments after medical personnel rushed to aid the unmoving Miller, Chudzinski came over to check on him along with linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and others. After Miller was immobilized and strapped to a backboard, the entire Browns team and coaching staff huddled around him in prayer.
"We got together," said Chudzinski, Cleveland's first-year coach. "We said a prayer, said we would keep Ryan in our thoughts and I would give them updates as we got them. We needed to get back to work at that point and focus back on practice."
It was difficult for everyone.
The Browns asked media members not to report Miller's name until his family could be contacted, raising fears he was hurt more severely. And, as Miller was being treated, the team also requested for cameras be turned off to protect his privacy.
Meanwhile, Miller's teammates were hoping for the best.
"We play this game so hard, so violent," Groves said. "Any moment, this game could be taken away, and that's the thing I want guys to learn from this. Cherish the moments while you're out here. Cherish tying your cleats up. Cherish the smell of the grass. Cherish snapping that chinstrap on because any moment it can be taken away from you."
Chudzinski did not see how Miller got hurt, but Thomas said it was the result of helmet-to-helmet contact. It was not immediately known what defensive player Miller was blocking when he went down.
|Minnesota||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Buffalo||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Miami||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||12/8/13 3:05 PM|
|St. Louis||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|NY Giants||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|Carolina||12/8/13 7:30 PM|
|Dallas||12/9/13 7:40 PM|
|New York||6:00 PM|
|LA Clippers||7:00 PM|
|NY Rangers||6:00 PM|
|San Jose||6:00 PM|
|NY Islanders||7:00 PM|
|TX A&M-CC||2:00 PM|
|West Virginia||6:00 PM|
|Tenn Tech||6:00 PM|
|Wright State||6:00 PM|
|Long Island||6:00 PM|
|Eastern Ky||6:00 PM|
|NC Wesleyan||6:00 PM|
|Florida A&M||7:00 PM|
|Ole Miss||8:00 PM|
|High Point||8:00 PM|
|South Dakota||8:05 PM|
|La Verne||9:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|Carroll (MT)||9:00 PM|
|San Diego St||10:00 PM|
|(19) Louisville||6:30 PM|
|Bowling Green||12/6/13 7:00 PM|
|(16) Northern Ill|
|(15) UCF||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|(18) Oklahoma||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|(6) Oklahoma State|
|Marshall||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|Memphis||12/7/13 12:00 PM|
|(23) Texas||12/7/13 2:30 PM|
|(5) Missouri||12/7/13 3:00 PM|
|So Florida||12/7/13 6:30 PM|
|(7) Stanford||12/7/13 6:45 PM|
|(11) Arizona State|
|(20) Duke||12/7/13 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|Louisiana||12/7/13 7:00 PM|
|(2) Ohio State||12/7/13 7:17 PM|
|(10) Michigan State|
|Utah State||12/7/13 9:00 PM|
|(24) Fresno State|
|Palm Beach Atlantic||48||FINAL|
|Florida A&M||5:00 PM|
|(16) Purdue||5:30 PM|
|La Salle||6:00 PM|
|William & Mary|
|Missouri State||6:00 PM|
|UC Davis||6:00 PM|
|(22) Syracuse||6:00 PM|
|Ohio U||6:00 PM|
|Long Island||6:00 PM|
|NC State||6:30 PM|
|Utah Valley U||6:30 PM|
|Wichita State||6:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St|
|Utah State||7:00 PM|
|Boston College||7:00 PM|
|TX-San Antonio||7:00 PM|
|Texas State||7:00 PM|
|Tenn Tech||7:00 PM|
|New Orleans||7:00 PM|
|Idaho State||7:05 PM|
|Northern Ill||7:05 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||8:00 PM|
|San Diego Christian||9:00 PM|
|Northern Ariz||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|St Marys-CA||9:00 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|