The Cleveland Browns need all the help they can get this season. And still more than a month out before camp, it looks like they’re losing one of their key defensive pieces.
Cleveland’s local CBS station passed along word that defensive end Desmond Bryant tore his pec and underwent surgery today. Their sources indicate Bryant will “likely” miss the entire regular season as he recovers.
He’s arguably been the team’s best defensive linemen and someone the team, as Matthew Marczi wrote, was being counted on as a team leader. That, obviously, now appears to be in severe jeopoardy.
Over the last two seasons, Bryant has racked up 11 sacks, including a team-leading six in 2015. The Steelers shut him out a year ago bu Bryant did record one sack back in 2014. He led the Browns’ defensive line with 528 snaps last year.
The players most likely to be forced to pick up the slack include John Hughes and Xavier Cooper. The team also drafted Carl Nassib, a potential hybrid player, but now someone who seems more likely to get reps with his hand in the dirt.
The Browns run defense was dreadful a year ago, allowing the third most yards and tied for the fourth-highest per carry average. They’ve been in the bottom five the last two years. Losing Bryant is a huge blow in trying to fix that in Hue Jackson’s first year with the club.