Jack Conklin may not play in Browns Week 1 opener

Browns, Jack Conklin. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Jack Conklin. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Jack Conklin had surgery in December to repair a ruptured patellar tendon and still isn’t guaranteed to play for the Cleveland Browns in Week 1

The Cleveland Browns lost one of their better players last season when starting right tackle Jack Conklin suffered a ruptured right patellar tendon. He ended up playing in just seven games in 2021 and then had surgery in December to repair the tendon.

He’s done well enough in his rehab that he wasn’t placed on the IR or PUP, but there’s no guarantee he’s going to play in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski was recently asked about the status of Conkin and while he said his rehab is going great, he wasn’t ready to comment on his status for the opener.

"“All along, Jack has done everything we’ve asked him to do in his rehab. He’s worked very, very hard. He’s progressing, but I don’t think we’ll make that call until next week.” – Stefanski said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com"

Conklin was originally signed in the 2020 season and has been one of the better right tackles in the NFL when suited up for the Browns. He’s enjoyed his time with the team as well, recently saying he would like to sign an extension with Cleveland since this is his last year under contract.

Cleveland could surely use Conklin, especially considering they’re already down one starter. Center Nick Harris was injured in their preseason opener, which means Ethan Pocic is slated to start this season.

If Conklin isn’t starting, the Browns will likely turn to second-year tackle James Hudson or veteran Chris Hubbard. Hudson struggled some as a rookie but looked improved in the preseason. Hubbard has been a valuable reserve but has also dealt with his share of injuries over the past two seasons.

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