The Cleveland Browns‘ 2021 season has been a complete mess, to put things bluntly. Between releasing Odell Beckham Jr. and a seemingly never-ending injury list, the Browns have faced adversity at every turn.
Unfortunately for Cleveland fans around the globe, life isn’t set to get much easier for the Browns moving forward. They suffered another soul-crushing injury during their Week 12 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, one that puts their already-hobbled quarterback in grave danger.
Jack Conklin was carted off during the Browns’ Week 12 loss
Having just been activated off injured reserve with a dislocated elbow, right tackle Jack Conklin’s return to the Browns’ offensive line was short-lived. During Sunday Night Football game against the Ravens, the veteran RT got tangled up and fell awkwardly on his leg.
Conlin immediately grabbed at his knee and started rolling on the ground in pain. Everyone could instantly tell the injury was severe. Conklin initially got up on his own power and started walking off the field. However, he only made it a few steps before his knee completely buckled. Teammates and staff members had to help him off the field.
Soon after, the Browns had to call over the injury cart to get Conklin into the locker room for treatment. According to David J. Chao (the Pro Football Doc on Twitter), Conklin displayed all the telltale signs of a torn patella tendon.
Conklin is done for the season
Unfortunately for both Conklin and the Browns, everyone’s initial fears proved valid. On Monday morning (November 29), the veteran RT underwent tests, confirming he tore his patella tendon.
This rules him out for the remainder of the 2021 season and could even place his 2022 season in jeopardy. Torn patella tendons are no joke.
Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot has more on the injury:
The Browns’ worst fears were realized Monday when Jack Conklin’s MRI confirmed a season-ending torn patella tendon in his knee, a league source told cleveland.com.
He’ll likely undergo surgery soon and begin his rehab to try to be ready for the 2022 season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report the news.
Conklin suffered the injury on the second drive of Sunday night’s 16-10 loss to the Ravens. When he tried to walk off the field, his knee buckled and he had to be carried off the field. He was carted into the locker room and soon ruled out for the game, which was a bad sign.Mary Kay Cabot, Cleveland.com
Browns QB Baker Mayfield is in serious danger moving forward
The Browns have been one of the most injured teams in the league this season. Running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb have both missed time. The offensive line has been banged up. Baker Mayfield isn’t even close to being 100%.
Now, with Conklin set to miss the remainder of the 2021 season, things are only going to get worse for the Cleveland offense.
The rest of the injuries aside for the moment, the Browns’ biggest issue this season has been Mayfield’s health. He’s been playing with a torn shoulder since the start of the season and has to wear an awkward-looking brace during games just to stay on the field. The whole ordeal is affecting him seriously, drastically limiting his ability to throw the football.
With that said, the Browns were hoping to take pressure off Mayfield and all his injuries as players started coming off the injured list. The hope was that a returning Chubb, Hunt, and Conklin would help Mayfield revert to a glorified game manager during the second half of the season.
With Conklin done for the season, this won’t be occurring. Instead, the Browns’ right tackle position will remain a significant weak point, exposing Mayfield to sacks and QB hits.
One more crushing hit from a rushing DE, and Mayfield’s season could very well end. He’s hanging on to his health by a thread. It’s impossible to imagine him being comfortable with a backup RT out there protecting him.