1:51pm: The Browns have promoted linebacker Keith Pough from their practice squad to replace Taylor on the roster, tweets Cabot.
12:19pm: The Browns have placed defensive lineman Phil Taylor on injured reserve with a knee issue, head coach Mike Pettine confirmed today to reporters, including Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). Taylor, who previously underwent a scope on his troublesome right knee, will undergo more surgery next week that’s unrelated to the initial procedure.
In 2013, Taylor was a starter on defense for Cleveland, but only played 555 defensive snaps, serving primarily as a run stopper. While he wasn’t a full-time player, Taylor’s performance against the run still placed him a solid 26th among 69 qualified defensive tackles, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). The 26-year-old played just 133 snaps this year before being sidelined with a knee injury, and Cleveland’s run defense has struggled in his absence — Football Outside ranks the unit 30th in DVOA.
The Browns exercised their fifth-year option on Taylor for 2015, so the former first-round pick is under contract with the team for a base salary of $5.477MM. That salary isn’t yet guaranteed, however, so if the team is concerned about Taylor’s recovery or his cap hit, he could be released this winter.
While Cleveland has yet to announce a corresponding roster move, a practice squad promotion for Sunday’s game could happen later today or tomorrow.