Trent Brown had played just seven snaps for the Patriots in 2021 before he returned to the field in their massive 45-7 win over the Browns in Week 10. And the moment was a reminder of just how far Brown has come since the last time he faced Cleveland.
Brown was on the Raiders during the 2020 NFL season and was preparing to come off the COVID-19 list against Cleveland in Week 8. He had missed the Raiders’ previous game with the illness. However, he dealt with an issue while getting a pre-game IV. Air was introduced to his bloodstream and he nearly died as a result of the mishap.
So, returning to play against Cleveland after that near-death experience, which made Brown contemplate retirement, carried extra meaning.
“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, per NFL.com. “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.”
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As Brown explained, the air in his bloodstream nearly caused him to go into cardiac arrest. He had to be hospitalized for a few days while dealing with that condition.
“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 stayed out of action another six games for the Raiders. He ended up playing just five games for them because of a couple of injuries, the COVID-19 diagnosis and the IV mishap. He was only out of action for about a month and a half, but it took much longer for him “to feel normal again.”
“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.”
Brown has played in just two games and 53 snaps for the Patriots since rejoining the team during the 2021 NFL offseason. He has dealt with a calf injury and had another stint on the COVID-19 list. He’ll suit up for his second consecutive game on Thursday against the Falcons, and the 2019 Pro Bowler will hope to regain his dominant form from and stay on the field.