When the news initially broke, Browns fans feared the worst. Not even one day later, the Cleveland front office confirms that second-year defensive tackle Phil Taylor has in fact torn his left pectoral muscle lifting weights. The result will be surgery with the first-round draft pick missing the entire 2012 season.
Taylor does have an advantage in that the injury occurred four months before the season opener. The timetable should be in the 4-6 month range, leaving Taylor as a candidate to open the season on the PUP list.
Third-round draft pick John Hughes will likely step in in Taylor’s absence. Brian Schaffering, Scott Paxson and rookie Billy Winn will also get additional snaps.
This is a big hit to a Browns defense which was among the league’s worst in stopping the run in 2011.