Browns defensive end Chris Odom suffered a torn ACL during the team’s preseason finale against the Bears on Saturday, per head coach Kevin Stefanski (Twitter link via Jake Trotter of ESPN.com). Odom will miss the 2022 season as a result.
This is an especially difficult blow for Odom, who earned United States Football League Defensive Player of the Year honors following the rebooted league’s inaugural season this year. A second-round pick of the Houston Gamblers in the USFL draft in February, Odom went on to post 41 total tackles, 12.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, and four blocked field goals. He auditioned for the Bengals, Cardinals, Chiefs, Saints, and Texans this summer before finally signing with the Browns.
Now 27, Odom signed with the Falcons as a UDFA in 2017. He saw action in seven regular games with the Packers that year after being waived by Atlanta, and his performance with a different alternative league in 2018 — the now-defunct Alliance of American Football — led to another contract with the Falcons in 2019. But he was waived again during final cutdowns in August 2019 and subsequently hooked on with Washington’s practice squad. He ultimately appeared in four games for Washington.
A stint with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders preceded his successful run with the Gamblers. His admirable perseverance in continuing his playing career will be tested yet again as a result of the ACL tear.
Of course, it is unclear if the Arkansas State product would have made the roster anyway, as the Browns’ edge rush contingent consists of two drafted rookies — Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas — trade acquisition Chase Winovich, and others behind starters Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney.
In 11 regular season NFL contests, Odom has 16 tackles and two sacks.