BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur opened rookie minicamp with bad news Friday morning.
Defensive tackle Phil Taylor sustained a torn left pectoral muscle Thursday and could miss the entire 2012 season.
“He’s going to miss some significant amount of time,” Shurmur said. “More months than weeks. It’s too early to speculate how long that will be.
“Hopefully he’s a fast healer.”
Taylor underwent an MRI yesterday and is scheduled to have surgery in the middle of next week.
“He was weightlifting (Thursday) in the offseason program,” Shurmur said. “It’s one of those things that happens. It’s unfortunate and we feel bad for Phil but he’s in good spirits and he’s going to come back from this stronger than ever.”
Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson sustained torn left and right pectoral injuries in back to back seasons that forced him to miss 26 games including the entire 2010 season.
Jackson tore his left pectoral in the sixth game of the 2009 campaign and missed the final 10 games of the season. He tore his right pectoral during training camp and missed the entire 2010 season. Jackson fought back from the injuries to lead the team in tackles last year.
Taylor was selected 21st overall in the 2011 draft and finished his rookie season with 59 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble while starting all 16 games.
The injury to Taylor could vault rookie John Hughes into a potential starting role. Hughes was selected by the Browns in the third round of last month’s draft.
“I think anytime you lose a starter, I think it provides opportunity for other guys to fill in,” Shurmur said. “We never want to lose a player. Unfortunately, at this point, Phil has to deal with what professional athletes have to deal with sometime and that’s going through a surgery, going through a rehab and then coming back stronger than ever. I talked to him yesterday and today.
“His mood is good, he understands it and we’ll get him fixed up and get him back.”
Brian Schaefering, Scott Paxson and fellow rookie Billy Winn, a sixth-round pick from Boise State could also be in the mix to help replace Taylor as well.