Browns Defender Goes MIA From Camp, No Timeline For Return

Getty Images Browns defensive end Takkarist McKinley.

The Cleveland Browns issued a grim update on defensive end Takkarist McKinley on Saturday, who is out for personal reasons but has no timeline for a return.

McKinley missed three days with an illness but has been out for undisclosed personal reasons. Head coach Kevin Stefanski said there’s no expected return date for the former first-round pick, hoping he’ll return for the start of the season.

“I’m hopeful but don’t have a timeframe yet,” Stefanski before Saturday’s practice. “I can’t really get too far into it.”

It’s the first time Stefanski has sounded uncertain about McKinley, saying previously he expected him to return “soon.”

Takk McKinley Was Hoping for Fresh Start in Cleveland

Takk McKinley Cut

GettyThe 49ers released pass rusher Takk McKinley.

The Browns inked McKinley to a one-year deal this offseason worth up to $4 million. He’s is expected to be an important part of the pass-rushing rotation behind Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. McKinley collected 13 of his 17.5 career sacks in his first two years in the league and showed the talent that made him a first-round pick.

However, he was cut by Atlanta in November after a social media tirade and he wasn’t able to get on the field after that. He signed with the Bengals, 49ers and Raiders, but was never healthy enough to suit up.

“You always have your highs and you always have your lows. That is just life. Life is a rollercoaster,” he told reporters shortly after signing. “For me, the biggest thing is to learn from my mistakes. I am not perfect. I made a lot of mistakes in my past. However, if I want to grow from that, I just do not make the same mistake twice. As far as the opportunity goes, sometimes a fresh start is the best thing for everyone. I am just very, very excited to be a part of the Cleveland Browns knowing how bad they wanted me and knowing the opportunity that lies in front of me.”

Jadeveon Clowney Impressive So Far in Training Camp

Jadeveon Clowney: "I'm looking for a big year, and with the guys around me that can happen."Jadeveon Clowney addresses the media on August 4th, 2021. #PlayerSound2021-08-04T19:31:45Z

McKinely was once believed to be in the running for a starting gig opposite of Garrett before the Browns brought in Clowney. The former top pick has been a monster during camp and has impressed Stefanski.

“A really a good fit. Cultural, he has been great to be around. A fun teammate. Enjoys practice. He is having fun,” Stefanski said. “He is healthy so he is feeling good and moving around. Then the fit schematically, he has played in systems similar to this so it is fun to see him be very disruptive throughout the course of practice.”

Health is key for Clowney, who has dealt with some tough injury luck in his career. But if he and Garrett are hitting on all cylinders, opposing quarterbacks better have their head on a swivel.

“I started off with the worst injury I could think of with the microfracture. I have just been getting better throughout my career as far as getting healthy,” Clowney said. “I had probably one of the best offseasons I have had working out. I am looking for a big year, and with the guys around me, that can happen.”

The Browns begin the preseason next Saturday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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