Takkarist McKinley was carted off the field against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday and the Cleveland Browns fear the pass-rusher has a torn Achilles.
McKinley went down in the second half and was unable to put weight on his leg. The injury happened while he was trying to get to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and the team originally dubbed it an ankle injury, quickly designated him as out for the rest of the matchup. After taking a strange-looking step on a pass-rush move, McKinley reached down and grabbed his leg after the ball was away.
While being carted off the field McKinley pulled his headband over his eyes, a sign that things were serious.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport first reported the injury for McKinley, although the team will make it official in the morning.
“Browns pass-rusher Takk McKinley is feared to have suffered a torn Achilles, source said. He’ll have an MRI in the morning to determine if that is the case,” Rapoport tweeted.
Browns Taking Shot on McKinley Paid Off
The Browns inked McKinley to a one-year, prove-it deal this offseason, which provided the team with some depth behind Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett.
McKinley, who has already had some highs and lows to his NFL career. He 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.
McKinley has been a key contributor in the pass-rush rotation, holding his own behind Clowney and Garrett. He has 18 tackles this season and 2.5 sacks.
Myles Garrett Battles Through Groin Injury
McKinley wasn’t the only Browns defensive lineman banged up against the Raiders. Myles Garrett was hobbled in the fourth quarter against the Raiders but there was no way the Browns star pass-rusher was coming off the field. He briefly entered the medical tent, but did not miss a play.
“You’re going to have to kill me to take me off that field. Or you’re going to have to break my leg and take me completely out,” Garrett told reporters after the game.
Garrett had three tackles — one for a loss — and came oh-so-close to blocking the game-winning field goal.
Browns special teams coordinator and acting head coach Mike Priefer commended Garrett for gutting through the injury.
“I think his groin is a little bit sore, but he is a tough guy,” Priefer said. “He fought through it like a lot of our guys.”
Garrett is fresh off making his third Pro Bowl, setting the franchise record for sacks in a season. But Garrett doesn’t care too much about individual accolades. The towering pass-rusher wants to lead the Browns to the postseason, which is still possible in the logjammed AFC North.
The Browns have another chance to stay in the mix on Saturday against the NFC-leading Packers on Christmas Day.