Schefter: Alex Mack Injury Likely Season Ending
The Cleveland Browns big win against the Pittsburgh Steelers is not without some potholes. The biggest negative coming out of the game is that All World center Alex Mack is likely out for the season. Adam Schefter and Pat McManamon are reporting it as a broken fibula:
Some reports state that the injury is close to his ankle area.
Mack, along with Joe Thomas, had not missed a single snap since his rookie season. He is the cornerstone of the best offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus, and will be sorely missed. Mack is responsible for all the line calls, timing with QB Brian Hoyer and the all important A gap protections.
When Mack left the Browns moved John Greco over to center and brought in Paul McQuistan at right guard. The Browns offense didn’t miss a beat. That performance should not give Browns fans false hope that the line will just keep on ticking without Mack in the middle.
Center could be the best position for Greco, obviously he would never take Mack’s spot. McQuistan started for the champion Seattle Seahawks last year but was let go by the team. He looked bad in the pre-season, in both the run and pass games. He played great today but expecting that to continue at a high level is concerning.
The Browns will likely promote someone off of their practice squad. Currently there are three offensive linemen there: Karim Barton, Patrick Lewis and Ryan Seymour. Barton is more of a guard while Seymour can swing between guard and tackle. Lewis on the other hand is a center that the Seahawks claimed to their roster last season, off of the Browns practice squad. Any of the three could fill in short term.
The Browns will likely look to acquire another lineman, especially one that they might be able to slide in to the starting right guard spot. Having the extra picks next year could help that acquisition. The team will be far more likely to make that type of move after today’s big win and being only one game out of the Division lead and a playoff spot.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is Mack’s injury to you?