Earnest Byner was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the tenth round (280th pick overall) of the 1984 NFL Draft. He played for the Browns (1984–1988; 1994–1995) He finished his 14-year NFL career ranked 16th on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 8,261 yards on 2,095 carries, with 56 touchdowns. He also caught 512 passes for 4,605 yards and 15 touchdowns, returned 33 kickoffs for 576 yards, and scored a touchdown on a recovered fumble, totaling 13,442 all-purpose yards and 72 career scores.
In addition to his #16 rushing yards ranking at the time of his retirement, Earnest Byner finished his career within the NFL's top 50 all-time leaders in rushing attempts, rushing touchdowns, and total yards. Earnest Byner's 512 receptions is tied for 13th most by halfback/fullback/running back in NFL history as of 2018.
A productive, reliable running back who could rush, block and catch the ball out of the backfield, Earnest Byner was a popular player in Cleveland. Paired with power runner Kevin Mack in the Brown backfield, the pair both gained over 1,000 yards in the 1985 season. Earnest helped the Browns reach the AFC Championship game in both 1986 and 1987 seasons.
Earnest Byner is the founder of The Healing Dawgs, a non-profit group that is aimed at teaching, helping, and healing through humanitarian efforts in communities, with a special focus on Veterans, the homeless, and youth. He has led visits to VA medical centers in Cleveland, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., in hopes of assuring wounded Veterans that their service and the sacrifices they have made for their country are not going unnoticed.