Bryce Brown Dodges Injury, Talks Ball Security

Bryce BrownBryce Brown heard something pop and he thought he had broken his left ankle.

A lineman stepped on the foot during practice Monday, keeping that leg stationary while the rest of his body carried forward. It twisted.

“I felt it. I heard it. Everything,” he said.

He was assisted off the field by a pair of trainers. Turns out it was just a scare. Brown was able to put pressure on it and after a brief once-over from the medical staff, he had the ankle taped up and was sent back on the field. He needs to be further evaluated, but plans on playing Thursday in New York.

Crisis averted, and onto the next relevant topic — his fumbling tendencies. The 22-year-old had four fumbles (three lost) as a rookie, and gave one up against the Jaguars on Thursday as well.

“I know it’s been an issue here in the past. On that particular play their defensive back put their hat on the football,” said Chip Kelly. “He did have the football tight against his side. It was swinging a little bit earlier in the run but give their guy credit.

“It’s not something that is just Bryce, I think it’s everybody. That’s our responsibility when you get the ball at the beginning of the play to finish the play with the ball. We talk about ball security all the time. We do ball security drills every day and we’ll continue to do that. It’s a fundamental that when the season starts we can’t lose sight of because it’s integral to what we do. The turnover-takeaway battle is huge in this game. You can’t afford to give possessions away.”

Brown says that he has been putting in the time to clean up that area of his game.

“I’ve spent a lot of time on traffic,” he said . “That’s the main thing I have put my emphasis on is really keeping the ball tight in traffic. As far as being out in the open I tend to just run how I run, but I really try to put more emphasis [on securing the ball] when I’m between the tackles, things like that.”

It’s easy to forget that Brown only played a total of 13 games on the collegiate level. He only has 115 rushes on this level (averaging 4.9 yards per carry). There is plenty still to learn. But that learning will be on the job, as there is a big role for Brown in this offense if he can hold onto it.

“I have really been impressed with Bryce as a runner,” said Kelly. “He’s certainly a guy that is a luxury to have when you have a couple guys. Chris [Polk] has played really, really well and obviously we have LeSean [McCoy]. The three of those guys, I would put that group up against anybody.”

  • ridusofreid

    Turnovers can crush this young player and his new coach. Chip should not apologize for Brown.

    • rocketscientist

      Agree, there is a trend with him, good hit or not.

    • Adam

      Doubt it’ll ever get to a situation where it has the ability to affect Kelly and his career. If Brown continues to fumble the ball he simply will not get the carries. Polk will overtake him as the 2nd back. It’s really as simple as that. He’ll remain on the bench until he can earn the coaches trust again.

      At the same time Chip has the responsibility of molding this player. He’s still very raw and it would be a disservice to the team to not put in 100% effort into fixing Bryce’s problem because of the wealth of potential. I think this is where Chip being a college coach will come in handy big time, having the experience dealing with unmolded players.

      I hope it works out, but if it doesn’t… well, he’s an undrafted guy.

      • ICDogg

        Actually, he was our 7th round pick last year.

      • Anon

        Agree with all of that. The way he dances between the tackles and in space it’d be a real shame if he couldn’t fix the problem, but as I watched his highlight videos he’s WAY better than last year.

      • methodmadness

        7th round guy, Polk was undrafted.

  • Dutch

    There are a lot of fast speedy fumblers washing dishes down at the Doll House Strip Joint, maybe Brown needs to stop by and hear a few of their stories.

    • GoBirds1

      Douche strikes again! I would argue there few on this planet that has Bryce Brown’s speed strength power and overall football talent and there are zero working at the Doll House. You are a loser.

    • Mike

      Amahn Green and Tiki Barber were fumblers… and pro-bowl runners and key to Superbowl teams.

  • GumboGumbo

    Maybe the trainers can just tape the ball to his hands after he fumbles again.

  • Myke Lowery

    imagine his size and speed playing safety.

  • Anon