Linebacker Jacob Phillips’ sophomore season for the Cleveland Browns is likely over before it began after the player suffered a torn biceps injury.
Cleveland Browns linebacker Jacob Phillips is out indefinitely with a torn biceps injury and is likely to miss the entire 2021 season.
Phillips showed a lot of promise in his rookie season, but must now focus on recovery and rehabilitation. Phillips was a CFP National Champion at LSU, alongside teammate Grant Delpit. Unfortunately they will need to wait yet another year to see an NFL field together as Delpit returns from an Achilles injury that robbed him of his rookie season.
They are two very exciting prospects that the Browns will be upset to miss out on any further.
The injury also comes at a bad time, amid a string of linebacker injuries for the Browns so far this training camp.
Anthony Walker Jr. had some knee trouble coming into camp, and both Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson have been dealing with injuries to their hamstring and shoulder respectively. These three will be needed back if the Browns defense is to establish stability at the position.
Linebacker was a position of inconsistency and weakness last season for the Browns, but one which was addressed in the offseason and the 2021 NFL Draft. The aformentioned Walker Jr. was a locker room favorite at the Indianapolis Colts, and someone the Browns were familiar with after an excellent performance against them in week 5 of last season.
In-house options for Cleveland Browns
Who can they turn to? Well, the Browns also re-signed veterans Malcolm Smith and Elijah Lee in the offseason, and though they aren’t elite starters they bring important experience to the position.
As for the 2021 NFL Draft class, the Browns have a couple of appealing options as well. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was drafted in the 2nd round out of Notre Dame, where he was an elite defensive standout.
His draft stock reportedly fell because of a heart condition, but he was cleared by doctors in the pre-draft process. With Phillips out, the rookie may get even more playing time than was initially expected.
The Browns also drafted linebacker Tony Fields II out of West Virginia in the 5th round of the 2021 NFL Draft, who could also see more action than expected due to injuries ahead of him on the depth chart.