The Cleveland Browns will be without linebacker Anthony Walker for the rest of the season after he tore his quad on Thursday night against the Steelers.
Walker is expected to be out five to seven months recovering from the injury, which was confirmed via a MRI on Friday, per ESPN. Walker had become a key part of the defense since arriving last season. Walker had a team-leading 113 tackles in 13 games last season and was well on his way to being a top contributor once again. He had six tackles against Pittsburgh before his injury.
After the news, Walker put up a message on his Instagram thanking everyone for their support during the tough time.
“God’s Plan > Our Plan,” Walker wrote as part of his post. “I Appreciate All The Messages & Prayers. Attacking This Thing Head On & Will Be Better From It.”
Browns Have Faith in Jacob Phillips
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski did not hold back when describing what Walker brought to the table for the Browns — both in the locker room and from a production standpoint.
“He is a huge, huge, huge part of our football team, what he brings to us on the field and off the field,” Stefanski said on Friday.
Jacob Phillips is expected to fill in for Walker and he put down a solid performance against the Steelers. He collected a team-high seven tackles and a sack against the Steelers and the Browns are confident he can step in and produce.
“I was proud of Jacob because you wish you could put 12 guys out there for the defense. We listed him as a starter with Anthony early because those guys I really think they are both capable of starting,” Stefanski said. “Now with Anthony out likely, Jacob goes in there, and we have a ton of confidence in him. He plays like he plays last night, I think he can really affect the game.”
Phillips dealt with a bicep injury last season, limiting him to just four games. However, the former third-round pick is ready for a larger role with his number now being called.
“I like when I feel the pressure,” Phillips said after the game. “I feel like that is when I thrive the most when I am out there and I am able to adjust and get a feel of the game. Obviously, I am blessed to walk out of this game healthy and for the plays that I was able to make.”
Browns’ Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Avoids Serious Injury
The Browns were in a major pinch against the Steelers with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah also exiting with a groin injury. He received an MRI on Friday and it appears he avoided anything serious, per Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan.
“Told ‘nothing too concerning’ re: groin injury suffered by Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Thursday night,” Ruiter tweeted. “JOK underwent an MRI today.”
The man known as JOK is the Browns other starting inside linebacker and it would have been devastating if both he and Walker missed significant time. The explosive second-year linebacker has notched 14 tackles this season.