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Trent Brown made his comeback from the injured reserve list against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and the right tackle for the New England Patriots couldn't have asked for a more motivating opponent.
Brown stated on Tuesday that he considered retiring last year after a mistake with a pre-game IV during a game against the Browns landed him in a Cleveland hospital and nearly killed him.
"To kind of come back and play against the Browns, I thought was pretty cool, because I almost died before we played them last year," Brown said. "When I was laid out on the floor, I definitely thought about my kids. I even thought about retiring, honestly. It was that scary. I was about to be done with it. Then after it kind of settled down a bit, I was fine."
Brown claims he was on the verge of cardiac arrest at the time. A pre-game IV unintentionally injected air into his veins, and he was hospitalised for three days starting Nov. 1, 2020. Brown, who was then a member of the Las Vegas Raiders, had just been reinstated to the active roster off the reserve/COVID-19 list when the incident occurred.
"That was different. Coming off of COVID and then just expecting to play a game, and then make it all the way to the city, to the game, to the locker room," Brown said. "And I'm going through my normal routine, getting an IV, and to just pass out and almost going into cardiac arrest was crazy."
Brown returned more than a month later to start three games for the Raiders in December, but he was still physically unfit. He wasn't totally healthy for eight months, putting his full recovery around early July, just weeks before the Patriots' training camp began.
"To actually fully recover, it probably took about eight months to feel normal again," Brown said. "And to actually start making steps, as far as improvement, to feel like myself again on the field after eight months."
He's now missed 19 of 26 games since the start of 2020, thanks to a brush with COVID-19, an IV incident, and a calf injury. Brown suffered a calf injury in the Patriots' season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins this year, and was placed on injured reserve in October after being inactive for several weeks.
Brown explained, "I intended to go back sooner but experienced a setback during the Tampa week."
As a seventh-round draught pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, Brown (6-foot-8, 380 pounds) has defied all expectations after being selected only 12 choices before the draught finished. In his sixth season, he has 62 career starts and was named to the Pro Bowl with the Raiders in 2019. Brown was acquired by New England in March for his second tenure with the team.
Brown and the Patriots will face the Falcons on the road on Thursday night. Brown will be the happiest to put on his uniform.