David Njoku Face burn

David Njoku reveals how the accident that burned his face happened: I ended up exploding

As the severe burns on David Njoku‘s face and hands continue to heal, Cleveland‘s tight end feels fortunate. He knows things could be so much worse.

“I’m still breathing,” he said. “I still got my vision and everything, I mentally feel great.”

It was a bonfire accident

Njoku spoke Friday for the first time since he sustained burns in an accident at home on Sept. 29, two days before the Browns played Baltimore. Despite his serious injuries and being in extreme pain, Njoku played and had a team-high six catches.

The 27-year-old Njoku was reluctant to offer details about the incident.

“It was a bonfire accident,” he said. “Trying to have a nice little chill Friday, ended up exploding when I lit it up. So yeah, it happens.”

Njoku said his eyes were open when he was hit by the fireball.

“So I saw everything and I really should have been blinded,” he said, sitting in front of his locker. “So luckily I’m not.”

Njoku said everything happened so quickly, that it was almost impossible for him to process things.

“Shockingly, I’m not trying to sound like a freak, but it was kind of a rush,” he said. “Like that adrenaline surge. It was cool, but obviously we have to be smarter and I’m glad that nothing drastic happened.”

David Njoku Football Clevelands First Round Management FRM

Njoku’s ability to tolerate the pain and play impressed his teammates.

“Says a lot about him,” said wide receiver Amari Cooper. “Showed a lot of toughness on his part, 100%. There are a lot of players who definitely would not have played with that happening to them less than 48 hours before the game and for good reason.

“I was actually surprised when he played as well. But it says a lot about his toughness.”

Njoku sounded as if he never considered not playing.

He arrived at Cleveland Browns Stadium for the game against the Ravens wearing a mask to hide his injuries and then wore a mask during warmups. Njoku, a first-round draft pick in 2017 from Miami, left without speaking to reporters afterward.