BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer knows exactly how St. Louis Rams signal-caller Sam Bradford was feeling and what was going through his mind when he limped off the field at FirstEnergy Stadium on Saturday night.
Bradford suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee after getting run into by Browns defensive lineman Armonty Bryant in the first quarter of the Rams' 33-14 win, and Hoyer knows that feeling because it was last October when he tore the ACL in his right knee and lost the remainder of the 2013 season the last time he was on the field at FirstEnergy Stadium.
"My heart goes out to him, especially now just recently going through it," Hoyer said. "I know how much work I put into my rehab. I know he was hurt even maybe a week or two after me, so I'm sure he did the same. You definitely feel for the guy.
"I've tried to reach out through people who know people in St. Louis and just tell him I'm thinking about him, but it doesn't affect my approach. I felt great. Going forward it's not anything I'll think about, but obviously, you just feel bad for a guy who's gone through a similar situation that I have, and now, it's happened again."
Bradford was back on the football field less than a year tearing the same ACL, which cost him nine games last season.
Hoyer himself returned to the football field less than a year after suffering his torn ACL. Although Hoyer was only four months out from surgery back in April, he was on the field for the offseason workouts and took 11-on-11 repetitions in practice from the very start of training camp.
Despite Bradford's injury, Hoyer is not concerned about players with season-ending injuries coming back before their bodies are physically ready to handle the demands of an NFL regular season.
"For me, it was my first injury ever, so I was devastated at the time, but then, you talk to the doctors and the trainers," Hoyer said. "They lay out the process for you, and you can kind of see how it's advanced even in the past 10 years to even 20 years ago.
"I think they used to put you in a straight-leg cast for months and your leg would just deteriorate. For me, my whole process was (smooth). There was never a setback. I was always looking forward. I can only talk for myself, and I feel great.
"This is actually the best I've felt, and as my trainer tells me, each day you're away from surgery, it should get better and better and better. Even the amount of swelling is so minimal, you have to really try to dig in there to try to find it. I feel great, and like I said, I can only speak for myself."