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Saturday, May 12, 2012
Taylor's injury continues Browns' bad luck

By Jamison Hensley

The first day of rookie minicamp was supposed to represent a new start with running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden getting on the field for the first time. Instead, the day was marred by the Cleveland Browns' continued run of bad luck.

Head coach Pat Shurmur announced that defensive tackle Phil Taylor would need surgery to repair a torn chest muscle and could miss the upcoming season.

Taylor
Taylor
"It was just one of those things that happens," Shurmur said Friday. But why does it always seem to happen to the Browns?

In May 2005, Kellen Winslow's season ended when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a motorcycle crash. In July 2006, LeCharles Bentley's season was done after he sustained an injury to his left knee on the first team drill of training camp. And middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson missed 26 games in 2009-10 because of two pectoral muscle injuries.

The latest rough turn of events occurred Thursday when Taylor injured himself. It didn't occur on the field and it wasn't the result of a hit. Taylor tore his left pectoral muscle while doing bench presses in the weight room.

Taylor posted this message on Twitter: "Just a bump in the road. Got [to] work hard and come back -- Strong."

Injuries aren't the only reason why the Browns have lost 117 games since returning to the league 11 seasons ago. The instability in the front office and coaching staff shows Cleveland has struggled to find and develop talent.

It just seems like the Browns are dealing with a setback even before the regular seasons begins. This time, the injury hurts an already weak spot on the Browns team.

Even with a run-stuffer like Taylor, the Browns gave up 147.4 yards on the ground per game last season, which was third-worst in the NFL and last in the AFC. In comparison, the Ravens (92.6 yards rushing allowed), Steelers (99.8) and Bengals (104.7) all ranked in the top 10 in run defense last season.

The likely replacement is rookie sixth-round draft pick Billy Winn. Third-round nose tackle John Hughes could also figure into the competition. The interesting part is Winn and Hughes are roommates.

"We've already started to create that little bond," Winn told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "We're roommates so we've been doing a little chatting and going over the playbook. We'll help each other out and compete against each other and make each other better."