Browns LB Jacob Phillips Likely to Miss Season With Torn Bicep

Getty Images Linebacker Jacob Phillips of the Cleveland Browns.

Linebacker Jacob Phillips suffered a torn bicep in practice on Thursday as is likely to miss the entirety of his second season with the Cleveland Browns.

Phillps is a former third-round pick and was expected to be a key reserve on the defensive side of the ball, seeing reps both at middle and weakside linebacker. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the severity of the injury.

The injury happened when Phillips tried to jam Giants full back Cullen Gillaspia on a route. Phillips pulled up almost immediately after contact.

Phillips played in just nine games last season, limited by a knee injury. He also missed a game against the Jets due to COVID-19 protocol. Phillips notched 25 tackles last season.

Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki was also injured during Thursday’s practice. The 2019 third-round pick is dealing with a hamstring injury but isn’t expected to be sidelined too long.

Injuries Piling Up for Browns Defense

Phillips is the latest blow for the rebuilt Browns defense, which hopes to get healthy over the next few weeks prior to the opener in Kansas City on September 12.

Myles Garrett, Ronnie Harrison Jr. and Grant Delpit have all been slowed by hamstring injuries. Starting cornerback Denzel Ward and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney have both been out for an extended period of time, while free agent pickup Takk McKinley, who was expected to be the No. 3 defensive end, has been away from the team for personal reasons.

“With all of these guys, they have things that are bothering them, and we are working through it,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters at the start of the week. “Like we have talked about, we will make determinations based on every individual player as we get going in these next couple of games. That is something that is ongoing conversations.”

Early on in camp, the Browns were worried they would lose starting middle linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. for an extended period of time after he went down with a knee injury. He avoided what could have been the worst and has been back at practice this week.

“Definitely thought it something worse. Thought the worst and got the best,” Walker said. “Foot kind of got caught in the ground in a weird way. I do not want to talk about it anymore. Happy to be back.”

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Gets First-Team Reps

Kevin Stefanski on first joint practice with the Giants: "Really thought it was competitive."Head Coach Kevin Stefanski addresses the media after the first joint practice with the New York Giants on August 19, 2021. #TrainingCampBackdrop2021-08-19T21:19:07Z

With the injuries to Takitaki and Phillips, rookie second-round pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah got some reps with the first team. Owusu-Koramoah was one of the most impressive players for the Browns during the first preseason game against the Jaguars.

“He is definitely playing fast on the field. He is making plays,” Stefanski said after Thursday’s joint practice with the Giants. “We had a couple of injuries early in the practice so we had to play everybody over the course of the practice. It is just the natural progression of things for him.”

Expect to see plenty of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah when the Giants and Browns square off on Sunday in the second preseason tilt for both teams.

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