Cleveland Browns linebacker Jacob Phillips reportedly suffered a torn biceps tendon during practice on Thursday.
Phillips will undergo surgery and could likely miss the entire 2021 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Browns’ linebacker Jacob Phillips tore his biceps tendon and is now most likely to miss the season, per source. Phillips was the Browns’ 2020 3rd-round pick and a key contributor on defense.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 20, 2021
A third-round selection by the Browns in the 2020 NFL Draft, Phillips had been working in training camp with the second-team defense at both middle linebacker and outside linebacker as defensive coordinator Joe Woods looks to create positional diversity among the linebackers.
The injury is the latest setback for Phillips, who was inactive for six games as a rookie while dealing with a knee injury. He also missed a game after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
He finished his rookie season having played in 11 games, including the two playoff games, and had 25 tackles in the regular season and five in the playoffs.
The good news is that Phillips should be able to return from the injury. According to a study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, out of 22 players who underwent a surgical repair of a distal biceps tendon rupture over a 20-year period, 21 of them were able to return to the game:
Of the 25 cases, 21 (84%) were able to return to sport in the National Football League. The overall 1-year survival rate of return to play in players undergoing surgical repair of distal biceps tendon ruptures was 76% and overall 2-year survival was 56%. Players who underwent surgical repair of distal biceps tendon ruptures had significantly shorter post-injury career lengths and played fewer games per season post-injury than matched controls. There was no significant difference by position in post-injury performance scores when compared to matched controls.
Phillips’ injury continues a rough week for Cleveland’s linebackers, as Mack Wilson injured his shoulder in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Sione Takittaki left Thursday’s practice against the New York Giants with a hamstring injury.
Cleveland looks to be solid with veteran Anthony Walker Jr. and rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah holding down the top two spots at linebacker, but injuries keep pecking away at the depth of the position.