With their second game of the preseason just days away, the Cleveland Browns have suffered their first major injury of training camp. There have been a handful of day-to-day injuries, but everyone seemed as though they would be healthy when the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener. That was until Thursday.
After injuring his knee in Wednesday’s practice, head coach Hue Jackson ruled starting defensive tackle Danny Shelton out for Monday’s second preseason game. But, he would be evaluated on a week-to-week basis as the injury wasn’t considered “over the top”. Well, it seems as though it’s worse than first expected. On Thursday, ESPN’s Field Yates reported that Shelton’s knee injury will require a three-to-six week recovery, which would put his status for not only the season opener in jeopardy, but possibly for the first three weeks of the season.
Source: the expectation is that Browns DL Danny Shelton’s knee injury will require a recovery of 3-6 weeks.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 18, 2017
The defensive line may be one of the Browns’ deepest positions, but losing a guy like Shelton would be a big blow. As a defensive tackle, he not only gets in the opponent’s backfield, but he also clogs up the middle and takes up blockers, helping his teammates on the outside to get to the quarterback.
A first-round pick in 2015, the 23-year-old has never racked up the stats, but he’s done more in Cleveland than what people see from the box score. In two seasons, he started all but one game and has accumulated 95 tackles (51 solo) and 1.5 sacks. His leadership and his ability to clog up the middle of the line will be missed. Hopefully, Shelton will be back by September 10.
Shelton tweeted Thursday night that “all will be good”. The question that remains is, how long will it take to be all good again.
If the report is true, the best case scenario would be that Shelton would be ready just in time for Week 1. The worst? He would be forced to sit out until October. Welcome to the NFL season and the injury watch.