BEREA,Ohio--Browns Pro Bowl tight end Gary Barnidge said he expects to be ready for the start of training camp after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia. Barnidge said he elected to have the surgery now, so he'll be healthy for the start of training camp in late July.
"I think it was the opportunity to get it out of the way now where I won't miss any time," Barnidge said. "I think that was the purpose, so it won't pop up during the season."
Barnidge said the injury is something that occurs over a period of time.
"It's just wear and tear," he said. "Something that happens over a period of time. It's not something you can prevent. Some people get it and some people don't"
After a breakout season in 2015 that led to a trip to the Pro Bowl, Barnidge is very excited to play in Hue Jackson's offense that seems to allow the tight end to thrive.
"I think every position is going to be really featured," Barnidge said. "He's going to make it so every defense is going to have to focus on every position. You can't just focus on one position, or the receiver or tight end. I think that is going to change every week."
Barnidge (6-6, 250) caught a team-leading 79 passes for 1,043 yards last season, including nine touchdowns. He took notice of how Jackson used tight end Tyler Eifert in the Bengals offense. Eifert caught three passes against the Browns in the nationally televised game last year.
"Oh yeah, of course, he does like the tight ends, obviously," he said. "He has used them before and we're looking forward to that this year."
Barnidge thinks the diversity of Jackson's offense will create problems for defenses game-planning against the Browns.
"It's going to be a lot for teams to plan for because you never know what's going to happen."
Despite having a Pro Bowl season and getting rewarded with a multi-year contract extension, Barnidge said his personal goals are all about the team.
"It's not really about one person," he said. "It's about trying to get wins because that's what we're all about. Anything I can do to help get other guys open or spring the run game, that's all I can do."