BEREA, Ohio -- The migraine that forced rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer to miss about one quarter of the Cleveland Browns' loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday has cleared, but his ego remained bruised.
“That was one of my worst performances ever in any sport I’ve ever played,” Kizer said Monday.
Not many would argue. Kizer lost a fumble and threw three interceptions in the 24-10 loss to the Ravens. Kizer completed 15 of 31 passes for 182 yards and was sacked twice in his second start. The Browns, however, treated the day's struggle more as a matter of course than reason for alarm.
“Guys, listen, this guy is a young quarterback,” coach Hue Jackson said. “I appreciate and I have the same expectation that you do, that every ball that is open he’ll throw it straight and he’ll throw every ball with pinpoint accuracy and there will be no issues.
“This is his second game in the NFL. We just played the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, and he didn’t play as well yesterday. But the sky is not falling down by any stretch of the imagination. This guy is everything I think he is.”
Kizer was humbled by what happened Sunday, and growth, Jackson said, comes from humility.
“That’s why I say, quarterbacks got to start on their knees,” Jackson said. “They’re going to bring him to your knees, so you might as well start off on your knees. So get down there. And that’s where he is today. And he’ll grow from this.”
As for the migraines, Kizer said he has a chronic issue with them that is hereditary.
“They typically come twice a year,” Kizer said. “You just try to keep yourself out of stressful position and continue to have regular sleep habits and a good diet.”
The worst ones he’s had have caused numbness in his limbs or face, as well as blurred or diminished vision, in addition to intense pain.
Because he’s dealt with them, he knows to always have his medications with him and to take them when feels the onset of symptoms. If handled properly, Kizer said the symptoms can clear in as quickly as 45 minutes to an hour.
“I’ve been getting them since I’ve been young, so I kind of understand that when one’s getting ready to trigger it's time to to go take your meds and try to get past the symptoms as fast as you can,” he said.
He left Sunday when Jackson sent him to the trainers after a Browns possession ended with 10:51 left in the first half and returned with 8:19 left in the third quarter. Kizer said he was fine when he returned.
He refused to use the migraines as any kind of excuse for his play -- publicly and privately.
"He gets it," Jackson said. "Taking responsibility for it. Knows that he needs to continue to work harder and better. Understands that in the National Football League that it is about accuracy, that you got to put it where you want to put it at all times, that the other team can’t touch your ball. Our margin for error is not very big, and I think we get that. So we got to be as close to perfect as we can be."
Kizer is ready to move forward.
“One of my poorer performances that I’ve ever had,” Kizer said. “I’m just going to try to use that as motivation going into this week to make sure that I can prove to my teammates and prove to the Cleveland fans, prove to this organization the type of guy that I actually am.”