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Browns may be without Joe Schobert for a while

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No timetable for linebacker’s return from hamstring injury, but history suggests it could be more than one game.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns will be without starting middle linebacker Joe Schobert on Sunday when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road.

Schobert injured his hamstring during the dispiriting loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, and while it does not sound like a major injury, Schobert is not sure how long he will be out, according to clevelandbrowns.com:

“They say hamstrings are different for everybody so people depending on degrees and variations can be different. I know there are a lot of guys in the NFL this year who have had hamstrings, and they have been out some of them two weeks and some of them have been much longer. People like (Vikings RB) Dalvin Cook have tried to come back, and he is still dealing with issues. I think it is up to each individual person if you just attack the recovery in your own way you can really get after it. For me, hopefully, I will be on the short side of any injury.”

It is nice that Schobert is being optimistic, but history suggests that it could be a few weeks before the Browns see him back on the field.

According to a story over the summer by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, there are three types of hamstring injuries - simple pull, partial tear and complete tear - and while there is no reason to believe that Schobert has anything other than a simple hamstring pull, the news is still not good.

Fowler referenced a 2011 study for the U.S. National Library of Medicine conducted by several doctors that found that players missed an average of 2.6 games whenever they suffered a hamstring injury. And if a player tries to rush back, they run the risk of making the injury worse.

If the average holds true for Schobert, he may not be back until the November 11 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

That will be a tough blow for a Browns defense that was already thin at the linebacker position. In addition to Schobert being out, the team lost backup James Burgess - who was released this week, cleared waivers, re-signed and placed on injured reserve.

While Christian Kirksey will take over Schobert’s role in the middle, and rookie Genard Avery will move into Kirksey’s slot, the Browns will roll into the Tampa game with Tanner Vallejo, Xavier Woodson-Luster and D’Juan Hines serving as the second unit.

Which should be all kinds of fun.