In last year’s significant game, a tragic injury forged a connection between the draft picks from Michigan and Ohio State for the Browns

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Cleveland Browns (Credits: San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Cleveland Browns chose two players in the NFL draft who have a strong connection due to a terrible injury.

During the third round on Friday, the team selected Zak Zinter, a guard from Michigan. Zinter suffered a serious injury to his left leg on November 25 during a game against Ohio State when Michael Hall Jr., a defensive tackle who was later chosen by the Browns in the second round, accidentally collided with him.

Zinter, who was recognized as an AP first-team All-American, fractured both his tibia and fibula during the incident, which silenced the crowd of over 100,000 spectators at Michigan Stadium.

Despite being former rivals, Zinter and Hall are now teammates, linked by this unfortunate event.

“It feels like things have come full circle,” Zinter remarked during a conference call.

Zinter, standing at 6 feet 6 inches and weighing 309 pounds, was engaged in blocking another Ohio State player when Hall fell onto the back of his leg. As Zinter lay on the field in agony, the Michigan team and the crowd rallied around him, chanting “Let’s Go Zak!” before he was taken off the field on a cart.

Zak Zinter

This moment served as inspiration for the Wolverines, who scored on the following play, defeated Ohio State for the third consecutive year, and eventually clinched the school’s first outright national championship since 1948.

Zinter mentioned he harbors no ill will towards Hall. They only spoke once during a team visit.

“He’s a great guy, and it’s just part of football when we’re in the trenches,” Zinter said. “But I’m excited, and I believe everything happens for a reason. Now we’re going to be teammates, so I’m excited to get there and work with him at practice.”

Zinter shared that his leg has healed well, and he feels lucky to be able to pursue his football dream.

“I’ve been saying from the start that this is the best-case scenario in a bad situation,” he said. “I mean, it’s just bone. Bones heal easily, much better than ligaments in the knee or ankle.” The Browns aren’t concerned about any lasting effects from Zinter’s injury.

“We didn’t have a private workout or anything like that, but we were confident about his medical status,” general manager Andrew Berry said. “They did send videos of him moving around during private workouts, but he’ll be ready to go this spring, and there’s no worry about his leg.”

Kai Soriano

By Kai Soriano

Kai Soriano, hailing from the picturesque archipelago of the Philippines, is not just your average writer. With a flair for capturing the essence of the NFL through words, Kai stands out as a leading NFL Content Writer. Blending his passion for sports with his impeccable writing skills, he delivers content that is both engaging and insightful. Dive into his pieces, and experience the game as if you're right there on the field! 🏈

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