"I could get hurt next year, but I don't believe it has anything to do with the curse," Hillis recently told The New York Times while in the Big Apple for a "Madden" photo shoot. "I'm a Christian man, and I don't believe anything could be put in front of me that God can't take away. I would love to prove everyone wrong and have an exceptional year and not get hurt."
Photo gallery: Hillis' 'Madden' cover shoot
Hillis, who lives in Arkansas, said he recently worked out with several of his Browns teammates, including quarterback Colt McCoy, in Austin, Texas. McCoy, who recently said his throwing shoulder is "completely healed," and some teammates are planning another camp, possibly during the middle of May at Kent State, should the NFL's labor stalemate continue to drag. The quarterback said he has reached out to offensive draft picks such as wide receiver Greg Little, tight end Jordan Cameron and fullback Owen Marecic, and they're planning to attend, depending on school schedules.
"I think players are disciplined enough to work out on their own." Hillis told the Times. "The closer training camp time gets here, the more players become self-conscious and it's on their minds to be in shape. If players are not working out really hard right now, they will be."
Hillis also weighed in on a proposed 18-game schedule, saying it would be "really rough" on the players.
"Not only do you have 16 regular-season games, you also have four preseason games," he said. "Then if you make the playoffs, you can have four more games before you get to the Super Bowl. So you can already have 24 games without the 18-game season. And 24 games takes a real toll on somebody's body."
Especially when you're on the "Madden" cover.