The Cleveland Browns’ defense suffered a tough blow ahead of the team’s first playoff appearance in 18 years.
The Browns confirmed on Tuesday that their starting defensive end Olivier Vernon was placed on the injured reserve, meaning that the 30-year-old player will be out for the remainder of the postseason.
Vernon suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and was forced to leave the contest in the fourth quarter. After undergoing tests earlier in the week, it was revealed that he has a ruptured Achilles and will have to undergo surgery.
This is an unfortunate development for both the Browns and the player, especially since Vernon was playing great in 2020. In 14 games, he recorded 9 sacks, his highest total since 2013, while also adding 36 tackles, one forced fumble, and a career-high three pass deflections.
There is a chance that Olivier Vernon played his last game with the Browns, considering he’ll be a free agent in the offseason.
In Vernon’s absence, Cleveland is expected to rely on veteran Adrian Clayborn and second-year player Porter Gustin. Clayborn recorded 3.5 sacks and 12 tackles in the backup role, while Gustin has 30 tackles and zero sacks in 2020.