Takkarist McKinley was rejuvenating his career with the Browns and now he will be shelved the rest of the season and potentially most of next year.
In the third quarter of Monday’s 16-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, McKinley was carted off the field and many believed it was not good for the fifth-year veteran.
As he was being carted off, you could see him let out his tears as he knew it was likely the end of his season. You have to feel for a guy like McKinley, who has played an important role in the Browns defense this season, and was surely going to get paid by someone in the offseason.
Through 11 games this season, McKinley compiled 2.5 sacks, 18 combined tackles, three tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits, and a forced fumble. While not the greatest stats in the world, they still were a contributing factor for this team.
He was a good rotational player for guys like Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, and now the depth at the already thin EDGE position takes another hit.
McKinley spent his first four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, but him tenure there ended on rocky terms. The Browns had attempted to bring him in three different times via waivers, before finally landing him.
The loss of McKinley comes on the heels of the Browns being decimated by COVID-19, along with other key injuries. Along with the COVID-19 list of players missing time, head coach Kevin Stefanski said that the status of Garrett and Clowney for Saturday’s Christmas clash with the Packers is uncertain.
Garrett is having an MRI on his groin to see what, if any damage was caused in Monday’s loss to the Raiders. Clowney is still on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. So again, the rotational piece that McKinley offered is no longer there and now the Browns could be without their two best pass rushers on top of that.
There isn’t another guy on the roster who can even put up a fraction of what the two stars plus McKinley put up. What this does do for the Browns is it adds another glaring need that needs to be addressed in the offseason either in free agency or the draft.
McKinley could have gotten paid by the Browns next season, on a fairly cheap deal, but now that option is out the window.
Hopefully McKinley comes back bigger, stronger, and faster than ever and hopefully it’s a speedy recovery.