The Cleveland Browns signed defensive end Takk McKinley in free agency with the idea that he could team with fellow free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to give the team solid play opposite defensive end Myles Garrett.
That plan is currently on hold, however, as McKinley has been excused from training camp and there is no timetable at the moment for his return.
#Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said DE Takk McKinley remains away from team for personal reason and Stefanski doesn’t have date he expects him to return. Stefanski said he’s hopeful McKinley will return in time for start of season.— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) August 7, 2021
McKinley was last at practice on July 31 but left early for the second consecutive day with what the Browns said was an illness. He has not been back since and the team is now saying that McKinley is excused for personal reasons.
When asked about it on Saturday, head coach Kevin Stefanski was not able to get into specifics, but he did reveal that no one knows when McKinley will make it back to the team:
“I just do not have a timeframe yet, but I can’t really get too far into it. I am hopeful (he will be back for the start of the season), but I do not have a timeframe.”
Obviously, the first priority is making sure McKinley is OK and that he will return at some point ready to go. How much he can bring to the field will depend on how much time he misses.
His absence opens up additional opportunities for defensive ends Porter Gustin, Curtis Weaver, Joe Jackson and Cameron Malveaux to show the coaches that they are capable of filling the role that was originally planned for McKinley.