There was fear the Cleveland Browns linebacker Mack Wilson could miss the entire season after suffering a scary hyperextended left knee during training camp. However, the Browns fifth-round pick from last season is expected to be back much quicker than expected and should be back on the field within 4-6 weeks, per reports.
Wilson reacted to the diagnosis, writing on social media: “See ya’ll soon.”
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.
It’s Been ‘Next Man Up’ Mentality for Browns on Defense
Wilson was going to be a key cog in the Browns linebacking corps this season. His teammates and coaches were crushed to see him go down with the injury.
“I feel like Mack was coming on,” Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods told reporters. “He got the experience last year as a young player so you felt like he was coming into his own a little bit. He really felt more like a veteran on the field to be honest with you.”
“Tae Davis, he is doing some good things. I was not familiar with him, but he is playing well. (LB) Jacob Phillips, he is playing well. (LB) Solomon (Ajayi) is playing well. All those guys are stepping up so I feel like we have some depth and we will be able to put a good group out there, but it was a little disappointing when he got injured. Hopefully, we get him back soon.”
The Browns have suffered significant injuries at other positions during training camp. Here’s how Sunday’s injury report read: DE Myles Garrett (wrist), LB B.J. Goodson (personal), T Chris Hubbard (ankle), CB Kevin Johnson (liver), CB M.J. Stewart Jr. (hamstring), C JC Tretter (knee), CB Greedy Williams (shoulder) and LB Mack Wilson (knee).
It should be noted that Garrett’s injury is not significant and he was being held out as a cautionary move.
Browns Signed Former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith
Following the injury to Mack, the Browns signed former Seahawks Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith.
“It has been great with the team so far,” Smith told reporters last week. “It’s a cool opportunity to have, especially with a new coaching staff here and some of the people I am familiar with. Obviously, the work the coaches have done and some of the players have done throughout the league, a lot of respect for a lot of the people here.”
Smith made a name for himself with the Seahawks, helping the team to Super Bowl XLVIII. He recorded ten combined tackles, deflected a pass, recovered a fumble and returned an interception for a touchdown as the Seahawks throttled Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos.
Smith never made a Pro Bowl but has been a more than serviceable starter in the NFL. After leaving the Seahawks following the 2014 season, Smith spent time with the 49ers and Raiders. He started 35 games for the two teams before 2019, when he struggled to make and stay on a roster. Last season, Smith appeared in four games — two apiece with the Cowboys and Jaguars. He notched an interception and five tackles.
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