April 15, 2024

Browns RB Nyheim Hines says he’s ‘learned my lessons’ following jet ski accident, recovery on track

“Based off that, I could say whatever I want to about the Bills, but really it’s on me. I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation.”

Since the accident, Hines has been in rehab mode — and it has been as frustrating as it has been productive. But he said he’s made some significant progress and believes he’s on the right track back to the field.

“I’m feeling a lot better than I did even a month ago. There’s been progress,” Hines said. “I don’t wish an ACL surgery on anybody. It’s tough the first two or three months, but you start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in Month 4, 5, 6, 7.

“Three months ago, I didn’t think I was walking well or running well, and now I’m doing both those things. So I’m thankful for that, thankful for the people I work with and thankful for my recovery process so far.”

The Browns have a solid 1-2 punch at running back on paper with Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford, although Chubb is coming off his own knee injury this offseason. Hines said he and Chubb have gotten to know each other while rehabbing, but the Browns recently said they have committed to a “conservative” approach in Chubb’s return.

That might mean that Hines could be in for a bigger role than imagined initially. But once the Browns are full speed, Hines said he understands what role he came in to serve.

“As far as complementing the Browns, Jerome and Chubb, they’re over 200 pounds, they’re bruisers of runners,” Hines said. “I can get my nose dirty, too, but I’m looking to complement them in the passing game. I can run the ball well, but we all know I’m known for my receiving ability. So I’ll make sure I go out there on third down, pick up the blitz when they’re not in.”

Hines also has game-changing return ability, running six career kicks back for touchdowns — two punts and four kickoffs. The last two of those kickoff-return TDs came in the same game, in Week 18 Bills game against the Patriots in a stirring game following the Damar Hamlin‘s frightening cardiac arrest the game prior.

Although Hines told Kay Adams that he wants to “make sure I make a big splash in the return game,” especially given the NFL’s newly adopted kickoff rules potentially making returns a more competitive play again, he also wants to make sure people give him his proper due as a running back, too.

“I’ve been hearing the whole return-specialist thing — I’m not that,” he said. “I believe I play offense, but returning is something I love to do as well. But I like to do both.”