Drafted in the fifth round in 2011, Jason Pinkston was an under-the-radar type of player. I didn’t know much about him at the time and was curious about what he could do for the Browns. Jason was thrown into the action right away, starting all 16 games in 2011. He brought some stability to the left side of the line and was a fantastic substitute for the injured Eric Steinbach.
Coming off his solid rookie year, Jason was looking to add an impressive sophomore campaign to his resume. After the first six games, it was then unfortunately discovered that he had blood clots in his lungs. That sidelined him for the rest of the season and for most of the 2013 campaign. Pinkston was cleared to play once the blood clots were gone, appearing in three games in 2013. Fast forward to the start of training camp this summer, it was discovered that Jason once again has blood clots in his lungs, effectively ending his career.
Upon thinking about Jason, what stood out the most to me was that he was a Pittsburgh native and played football at the University of Pittsburgh before coming to play football in Cleveland. This was a guy who grew up in Steelers territory and embraced playing for their rival, the Browns. Sure, you could argue that paychecks could change anyone’s mind. I didn’t see it that way. He looked like he enjoyed being in Cleveland and I was proud to have him on our side. I know it would be hard for me to play for a rival team of the one I grew up watching, so I’m grateful he was able to don the orange and brown for us.
I’m heartbroken to hear that Jason’s career is over because of his health issues. He was a positive addition to the Cleveland Browns and a fine player on the field. I am going to miss him lining up with Joe Thomas and Alex Mack on our offensive line. The left side looked really formidable with Jason in there. I hope Jason continues to be involved with football in the future—and, who knows, maybe even make a comeback someday.
I wish you nothing but the best in the future. Thank you for your service to the Cleveland Browns.