CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns starting linebacker Mack Wilson does not need surgery for his hyperextended left knee and is expected to play this season, a much-needed, positive development for a team roughed up by injuries in training camp.
Wilson hurt his knee while breaking up a pass on Aug. 18. He was carted off the field and there was fear the second-year linebacker from Alabama might be done for the 2020 season, but after getting a second medical opinion, an operation was ruled out.
First-year coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Tuesday that Mack will return at some point. There is no definitive timetable on when he’ll be on the field.
“With all of our guys, you hate to see them go out and then you hope it’s always good news when they go out,” Stefanski said. “When (head trainer) Joe (Sheehan) sidles over to me, I always hope it’s good news, so this is a good development from that standpoint.”
The Browns have had numerous injuries — some of them serious — in the first couple weeks of camp. Rookie starting safety Grant Delpit tore his right Achilles tendon and is out for the year. Also, nickel back Kevin Johnson was hospitalized after his liver was lacerated from contact during practice.
Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb missed a few days with a concussion and starting cornerback Greedy Williams has been slowed by a shoulder injury.
Star defensive end Myles Garrett has been rested lately with an unspecified wrist problem, but Stefanski said the team is being overly cautious with its best defensive player.
Wilson’s loss has put more stress on a rebuilt Cleveland linebacking group, which lost veterans Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey as free agents this winter.
Sione Takitaki has moved into Wilson’s spot temporarily and rookie Jacob Phillips, a third-round pick from LSU, has been getting more work than expected.