BEREA, Ohio — DeShone Kizer gets a migraine headache once or twice a year.
Unfortunately, Cleveland's rookie quarterback was afflicted by a nasty one Sunday — in his second NFL game, before a deafening, hostile crowd, and against one of the league's most tenacious defences.
"That's one of my biggest fears being a guy who does get chronic migraines, it was bound to happen sometime for me," he said Monday, a day after a migraine forced him out of a 24-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Kizer said he was "back to normal" following the episode, which he said affected his vision in the first half and may have contributed to him throwing one of three interceptions, including one in the end zone when he had an open receiver.
The former Notre Dame starter didn't blame the headache for a game he doesn't want to repeat.
"That was one of my worst performances ever in any sport I've ever played," he said. "I'm definitely going to try to make that the biggest learning experience I possibly can and grow as much as I can from it."
The 21-year-old has been prone to the debilitating headaches since he was a kid and it's impossible to know when one might be coming.
"There's nothing you can really control, you just try to keep yourself out of stressful positions and continue to have regular sleep habits and a good diet," he said.
Kizer said the severity of symptoms can range.
"It can get to the point where you have some numbness in your limbs or your face and you get an aura that continues to grow within your eyesight and doesn't really allow you to see much," he said, "and then the pain is pretty tough."
Kizer takes medication when he has the onset of a migraine, and said he is usually feeling better within an hour, which would explain why he came back in the game.
During the first quarter, Browns coach Hue Jackson said he thought something might be wrong with Kizer when his young QB failed to put a wide receiver in motion before the ball was snapped. On the play, Kizer looked in the opposite direction than he's supposed to, and that was a sign to Jackson.
"When he came off and I asked him about it, he wasn't very clear to me about what it was, so then I knew then that something wasn't happening," Jackson said. "He told me, 'coach, my head is kind of pounding' so I knew then that something was not right."
Kizer sat out the remainder of the half and returned midway through the third quarter. Before he was taken out and checked by Cleveland's medical staff, the second-round pick said he experienced some vision issues shortly after completing a 35-yard pass on third down to wide receiver Rashard Higgins.
Jackson said the Browns were aware of Kizer's history with headaches, and the team isn't worried about them being an issue going forward.
"I hope we are because normally when he has had them, he has had one episode of it and then it doesn't come back for about another six or seven months," Jackson said. "Some people get them every two weeks. Some people get them every three months. It just comes in episodes that people deal with. He knows when his are. It has been a five or six-month window when those things have normally happened to him."
NOTES: Jackson said LB Jamie Collins is in concussion protocol after suffering a head injury Sunday. ... Rookie DE Myles Garrett remains in a walking boot to protect his high right ankle sprain. Jackson has not yet ruled him out of this week's game at Indianapolis and said the top overall pick is "getting closer" to playing."
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