Browns Starter Considering Season-Ending Knee Surgery

Getty Linebacker Mack Wilson of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns received news they did not want to hear on Tuesday when it was announced that linebacker Mack Wilson suffered what could be a season-ending knee injury.

Wilson was hurt during practice after he broke up a pass in a seven-on-seven drill, hitting the turf in pain. It was announced later in the day that it was a significantly-hyperextended left knee, per the Browns official site.

There are a variety of options on the table for Wilson, including season-ending surgery, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The injury was the final sequence of a very bad day for Wilson that came just 24 hours after he was hammered with criticism for a hard, high horse-collar tackle that left Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb in concussion protocol. He was called out by David Njoku on Tuesday morning. Njoku was one of the first players on the field to confront Wilson after the hit.

“That wasn’t right, nor does anyone condone that behavior,” Njoku said on a video call Tuesday before practice. “Tensions fly, but we do what we can to take care of each other.” Njoku said what he told Wilson on the field is “confidential.”


Mack Wilson Addressed Hit on Nick Chubb on Social Media.


A tough 24 hours for Mack Wilson: Day 4 of Browns Training CampCleveland.com beat writers Mary Kay Cabot, Dan Labbe and Scott Patsko discuss the injury to Mack Wilson after being demoted to second team for a horse collar tackle of Nick Chubb yesterday, causing a concussion. / Get a free 14-day trial to Football Insider at projecttext.com/clefootball or text to 216-208-3965 for exclusive Browns content, including…2020-08-18T23:36:42Z

Wilson had addressed the controversial hit on social media previously.

“I just practice with a lot of passion, my intentions is to never hurt anyone on my team nor any other player I’m going up against. We good though keep the negative comments to yourself. #NoBarkALLBITE,” Wilson wrote on Twitter.

In practice, Wilson was demoted to the second unit, getting replaced by Tae Davis with the starters.

Wilson, a fifth-round pick in 2019, emerged as a key starter for the Browns during his rookie season. He stepped in for an injured Christian Kirksey beginning in Week 3 and finished the season with 14 starts, 77 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.


Browns Linebackers Are Big Question Mark Heading Into Season

For most of camp, the starting linebackers had been Wilson, Sione Takitaki on the strong side and B.J. Goodson at middle. Goodson was signed by the Browns this offseason after spending time with the Packers and Giants.

Goodson played 254 snaps last season on defense in Green Bay and also contributed on special teams. He started nine of his 15 games with the Packers, finishing with 37 tackles. He started 20 games in the two previous seasons combined with the New York Giants. Goodson totaled 114 tackles in those games.

If Wilson is out, they’ll likely look to beef up their depth via free agency with an available veteran. Clay Matthews, Alec Ogletree and Mychal Kendricks are all names the Browns could consider to fill the void.

Wilson was eager to prove the critics who were calling the Browns linebackers unit among the worst in the league wrong.

“You’re basically saying, ‘He’s crap.’ To me that’s how I’m taking it, because you say we’re (the worst) linebacking corps in the National Football League, that’s just total disrespect,” Wilson said Sunday, per Cleveland.com. “I make sure that I remind those guys what these people think of us. I just tell them we’re going to prove them all wrong. Just continue to work and just focus on the task at hand and that’s taking one day at a time. … Everybody gonna find out.”

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