It wasn’t a good day for defensive linemen drafted in the early going of the 2011 NFL Draft: Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers suffered a torn Achilles tendon on Thursday and the Browns announced that defensive tackle Phil Taylor suffered a pectoral injury during the team’s offseason workouts.
The Browns said they don’t yet know the extent of the injury, but if the pectoral muscle is torn, it could potentially keep Taylor out four to six months.
“Phil Taylor injured his left pectoral today lifting weights as part of the club’s offseason program,” the Browns said in a statement released by the team. “He will be further evaluated on Monday to determine a course of treatment.”
Taylor’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer that Taylor is “staying positive” and waiting on the results of the MRI.
“He’s got a great attitude,” Schaffer said. “He’ll either be 100% or come back 100%.”
Losing Taylor, the team’s first-round pick in 2011, in May would obviously be a bad thing. The good news, I suppose, is that even in a worst-case situation, Taylor would be able to return for part of the season.
The defensive tackle recorded 59 tackles and four sacks in 16 games for Cleveland last year, and losing him would put the Browns behind the eight ball for 2012.
Taylor, as you’ll likely recall, was the player that the Browns selected after trading down with the Falcons in the 2011 draft so Atlanta could snag Alabama wideout Julio Jones. The “winner” of that trade will ultimately be determined by the performance of Brandon Weeden over the next several years, but Taylor’s injury is another reminder that the odds are looking more and more stacked against Cleveland to come out of that deal ahead.
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