2013 DRAFT GUIDE
5-year-old cancer survivor scores TD for Browns

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-03 21:40

CLEVELAND (AP) - With a handoff from Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden and a few nudges from running back Trent Richardson, 5-year-old cancer survivor Ryan Encinas covered the 40 yards as fast as he could.

The Browns have had longer touchdown runs in their history, never one so sweet.

Encinas, who recently celebrated two years in remission after being diagnosed with lung cancer, concluded Cleveland's ``Family Night'' practice at FirstEnergy Stadium on Saturday by running for a TD while being escorted by all the Browns. Once he reached the end zone, Encinas was lifted in the air by linebacker Craig Robertson and all the Browns huddled as the youngster soared above them and the crowd cheered.

``That was cool,'' Weeden said. ``The kid's been through a lot. I do a lot of stuff back home with Children's Hospital, so every time something like that happens, it brings a lump to your throat.''

The touching moment was similar to the one that took place earlier this year at Nebraska, when the Cornhuskers let 7-year-old Jack Hoffman, fighting brain cancer, run for a TD during their spring game.

``How `bout that first-round draft pick there,'' Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said of Encinas, who wore a No. 1 Browns jersey and helmet for his magical run.

The Browns drew 24,131 fans for their stadium workout, which broke up the monotony of training camp for the players and allowed eager Cleveland fans who can't wait for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener to get their first glimpse of a team with higher expectations than Browns squads in recent years.

Weeden threw a few nice passes and had one picked off by cornerback Joe Haden. Richardson missed his second straight practice with a shin injury, and rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo showed why the Browns selected him in the first round with a few strong moves rushing the quarterback.

But the night's unquestioned star was Encinas, whose family believed he was fighting a cold when a football-sized tumor was discovered in his left lung. Encinas had to endure weeks of chemotherapy while his mom, Angela, had to drop out of school to take care of her son.

Chudzinski said his son, Kaelan, came up with the idea of doing something for Encinas, who got some tips on a celebration dance from Richardson during a visit to Browns practice earlier this week.

Many of the players were visibly moved by the tribute to Encinas, who will be a kindergartner this fall.

``He couldn't do the things he wanted to do growing up, but to have this moment in front of these fans in this stadium, I'm getting chills right now,'' Mingo said. ``I'm sure it meant a lot to that little kid.''

The Littlest Heroes, a program that supports families with young cancer patients, worked with the Browns to arrange the once-in-a-lifetime thrill.

``This is one of the highest highs we've had during this entire ordeal,'' said Encinas' father, Robert Bozic, whose family lives in Cuyahoga Falls. ``To see him out there running with the Cleveland Browns is one of the greatest experiences of our lives.''

The Browns were thrilled by the crowd, which was double what they drew for the same event two years ago.

Weeden said he had trouble hearing the first play being called in his helmet transistor, and the stadium was only about one-third filled. Weeden can only imagine what kind of home-field advantage the Browns would have if they started winning consistently at home. Cleveland is just 41-71 in its lakefront stadium since 1999.

``Oh, man, this place would be electric,'' Weeden said. ``I would not want to come here as a visitor. I was talking to (backup QB) Brian Hoyer (a Cleveland native) about it the other day. I said, man, if we can win some games this place right here will be one of the most electric atmospheres in the league. The Dawg Pound and everybody else, it's great to begin with, and if we win some games the roof will blow off this thing.''

Mingo, too, was dazzled by the crowd.

``We had the first tier (filled), and it was still loud,'' said Mingo, who is working with the second-team defense. ``I'm like, `this is going to be fun to play in.' I'm really looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to seeing the field, though. I want to see the field.''

NOTES: Chudzinski said no decision has been made whether Richardson will play in the exhibition opener against St. Louis. The second-year back sat out the preseason last year as he recovered from knee surgery. He was kicked in the shin during practice Thursday. ... Weeden looked confident while stepping into many passes. However, WR Josh Gordon dropped a couple and Haden picked off the QB, who feels like he's making progress. ``I'm moving in the right direction,'' he said, ``my comprehension of the offense, my feel, my understanding of where to go with the football is getting there. I've got a long ways to go but I've got to keep working and these guys are going to rely on me.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group