Browns wide receiver David Nelson has been medically cleared to return to practice after sitting out for nearly a year while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate in his knee, he announced this morning via Twitter.
“I’ve been working, and waiting a year for this!!” Nelson tweeted. “It’s GO time.”
Nelson started training camp on the active physically-unable-to-perform list, but the Browns can take him off it an anytime, meaning he could be back in action as soon as today when practice runs from 4-6:30 p.m. He signed a one-year contract with the Browns in April.
As a member of the Buffalo Bills, Nelson suffered the season-ending knee injury in the Sept. 9 opener against the New York Jets and subsequently had it repaired by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Last month, Nelson said he expected to be physically ready to practice by the time training camp opened Thursday.
If he can continue to bounce back from his injury, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Nelson could give the Browns a big target when they’ll desperately need one at the beginning of the season. The NFL has suspended Josh Gordon, the team’s No. 1 receiver, for the first two regular-season games for violating its substance-abuse policy, so the Browns will rely on Greg Little, Davone Bess, Travis Benjamin and Nelson, provided he’s healthy, to step up in Gordon’s absence.
In 2011, Nelson started 13 of the 16 games in which he appeared and caught 61 passes for 658 yards and five touchdowns. As an undrafted rookie from the University of Florida, Nelson caught 31 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns in 2010. He has been targeted 146 times in his career and has dropped just six passes, according to ProFootballFocus.com.