BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- The Cleveland Browns have a massive hole to plug on their defensive line. Run-stopping tackle Phil Taylor will be out for months, and maybe for the season with a torn chest muscle.
Taylor tore his left pectoral muscle lifting weights Thursday and needs surgery, a potentially devastating blow to Cleveland's defense. "He's going to miss a significant amount of time, more months than weeks," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Friday as the team opened its three-day rookie minicamp.
"It's too early to speculate how long that will be. It's just one of those things that happened. "It's unfortunate. We feel bad for Phil, but he is in good spirits and he is going to come back from this thing stronger than ever." Shurmur said Taylor, a first-round pick in 2011, will have surgery next week. He acknowledged Taylor's injury "could be" season-ending.
"It's too early to say right now in terms of the recovery," Shurmur said. "Everyone recovers at a different rate. Our guess is that he will be a fast healer, but he will require surgery." Typically, torn pectoral muscles take at least sixth months to heal.
Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson missed most of two seasons with the injury. Jackson had two surgeries but bounced back and led Cleveland in tackles last season.
Taylor, the No. 21 overall pick last year, started all 16 games as a rookie. He finished with 59 tackles, four sacks and the 6-foot-3, 335-pounder improved Cleveland's defensive front.
The Browns drafted Cincinnati defensive tackle John Hughes and Boise State's Billy Winn last month for depth, and the two may be needed sooner than the team envisioned.