Updates on David Njoku, Cleveland Browns tight end who suffered burns

January 26, 2024

Image source: New York Post

David Njoku, an intriguing offensive weapon with excellent speed and athleticism caught the eye of the Cleveland Browns National Football League (NFL) in the 2017 Draft after playing college football in Miami, recording 9 touchdowns and 64 receptions for 1,060 yards in 25 games over two full seasons. 

Earlier this season, Njoku suffered severe burns. It has been several months now since the terrible accident. The injury occured while Njoku was in his own home when trying to light a fire, which exploded unexpectedly and ended up causing serious burn injuries, mainly to his face and arm before the Week 4 matchups of various teams of the NFL lines during the 2023/2024 season. 

Njoku's case was surprising for everyone, not only for the serious accident he had but also for how he managed it. Only two weeks after suffering the burns, #85 of the Browns decided to return to the gridiron. However, his injuries were still not completely healed and he himself revealed that he was in a lot of pain at the time of the game.

More than two months after the accident, news emerged that Njoku burned almost a fifth of his body, around 17%, which makes the feat of being back with the team so soon all the more incredible.

Details were also released about how the explosion in which he was injured originated, and it all stemmed from the closed wing trying to light a fire in his house with the wrong liquid. Now that he is in much better health, David Njoku is using different means, supported by the Browns, to publicize his case, support the American Burn Association through his collaborative "Withstand" merch, and prevent this from happening to more people since domestic accidents related to fire can have fatal consequences.

Who is David Njoku? The champion's biography

Born on July 10, 1996, the son of Nigerian parents, David Njoku was a first-round selection of the Cleveland Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft. From an early age (he started playing soccer in the seventh grade), he showed an athletic bent and participated in track and gridiron events in high school.

While in college, in 2014 he recorded 21 receptions for 362 yards and a touchdown. In 2016, Njoku caught 43 passes for 698 yards and 8 touchdowns, after which he decided to participate in the 2017 NFL Draft.

After declaring for the draft, he was invited to the NFL Combine and attended Pro Day in Miami. At the NFL Combine he completed all the combined and position tests and did the same at Miami Pro Day performing the vertical jump, long jump, short shuttle, 40-yard, 20-yard, 10-yard, run, run, run.

David Njoku ranked among the best tight ends on several platforms. As expected, in 2017 the Cleveland Browns selected him 29th overall, the third tight end selected. After being selected, he signed a four-year contract worth $9.52 million with the team, including a $5.06 million signing bonus.

On September 10 he made his professional debut, recording two receptions for 20 yards in a 21-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then, in the next game, he caught 3 passes for 27 yards in a 24-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and had his first career touchdown. Also, he totaled 32 receptions for 386 yards and 4 touchdowns by the end of his rookie season. Finally, he became the fifth tight end in league history to record 300 yards and 30 receptions at age 21 behind Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten and Aaron Hernandez.

David Njoku is destined to grow into one of the best in the league as he continues to step up his game, also thanks to the great power at his disposal that he uses with excellent body control and moves that are not typical of tight ends in the league; all of that together gives him the ability to rack up yards after a reception, and be a great football player.