A torn Achilles during the opening week of training camp robbed Grant Delpit of his rookie season and the Browns of their promising second-round pick.
Rather than contribute to what eventually became the franchise's best season in years, the LSU product was forced to sit on the sidelines and set his sights on the challenging road to recovery ahead.
It's been nearly eight months since he has participated in team activities, and over a year since he played in an organized game. But Delpit is eager to tackle the added expectations that await him upon his return.
"It's been a long time coming," he said, via the team's official website. "but hopefully I can give the fans what they want, give myself what I want and what my family wants."
So, what is it exactly that everybody wants to see out of the 2019 Jim Thorpe Award (top DB in college football) winner?
Well, at the time of his injury, Delpit was viewed as a physical defender with solid coverage ability and immediate starter potential. On paper, his skill set -- and the high hopes associated with it -- still screams "top-notch talent," only now Delpit's quest to prove himself on the field has the added stigma of a major tear.
"I've put so many hours in the weight room," he said after revealing he's still a few months away from returning to full health. "That's just part of life when you're playing in the league. I'm doing everything I can to get on the field."
Once he's finally able to do so, Delpit will join a room featuring Ronnie Harrison, the man Cleveland acquired to fill the void created by his absence, and versatile ex-Ram John Johnson, a standout talent who's dealt with some early-career injuries of his own.
The Browns' budding contender status coupled with the defense's offseason overhaul makes it tempting to over-analyze the club's future. The reality, though, is Delpit's role in those plans remains unknown until he receives medical clearance to return to football activity.