- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cleveland Browns suffered their first major injury of training camp and it could be a "huge hit" to their defense.
The Browns fear that outside linebacker Chris Gocong injured his Achilles and is out for the season, sources told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Gocong, who was carted off the field, will undergo an MRI on Saturday.
"It would be a huge hit," linebacker D'Qwell Jackson told the Plain Dealer. "Chris is a great player."
While this is the first serious injury of Browns training camp, this isn't the first issue for the Cleveland defense. If Gocong is out, the Browns likely will start three backups in their front seven for the first part of the regular season.
Defensive tackle Phil Taylor is on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and is expected to miss at least the first six games of the regular season. Strong-side linebacker Scott Fujita has been suspended by the NFL for the first three games for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal.
Now, with Gocong hurt, the Browns have to determine what to do at linebacker. One option is to start Kaluka Maiava, who started the last five games in 2011, and rookie fourth-round pick James-Michael Johnson, who has been impressive in camp, at outside linebacker.
This is just the latest Achilles injury to hit the division. Bengals cornerback Leon Hall tore his Achilles on Nov. 13. The Ravens have had two linebackers go down with Achilles this offseason: Terrell Suggs and Michael McAdoo. The Browns lost punter Reggie Hodges for the season after he injured his Achilles in last year's training camp.
12hEric D. Williams