According to John Telich of Fox 8 News, Cleveland Browns second-year defensive tackle Phil Taylor has a torn pectoral muscle and could be out up to six months, putting the majority of his 2012 season in jeopardy.
Browns confirm my earlier reports and tweets..Left Pectoral muscle for Taylor..Evaluated further on Monday. I confirmed he underwent mri
— john telich (@JohnTelich8) May 10, 2012
Taylor was slated to return to his starting role next to Ahtyba Rubin, but that position will likely be up for grabs in training camp with two rookies competing for the job. 3rd-round pick John Hughes and 6th-round selection Billy Wynn will likely be the front runners in the competition, with journeyman Scott Paxton also in the mix.
Unfortunately, the Browns won’t be able to replace Taylor’s size, which could potentially lead to some changes in their scheme. Taylor is listed at 355 pounds. The next largest tackle on the Browns depth chart, aside from Rubin and Taylor, is Hughes, who checked in at 309 pounds at the combine.
Hughes’ size may give him a slight edge over his competition. Dick Jauron’s defense is currently built around two nose tackles anchoring the front seven. And while the Browns have already stated their intentions of moving Frostee Rucker inside in passing situations, it would require a restructuring of the defensive scheme to play a true three-technique pass rusher like Rucker or even Billy Winn, on a more regular basis.