Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey recently underwent surgery to correct the torn pectoral muscle he suffered in Week 2, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Kirksey had already been placed on injured reserve, but had surgery not been required, there was at least some chance he could have returned later this season. Instead, he’ll miss the remainder of the year.
A third-round pick in the 2014 draft, Kirksey had been an iron man to start his career, playing in 64 consecutive games from 2014 through 2017. Last season, however, Kirksey went down with a hamstring injury and missed the final nine games of the campaign.
Kirksey, 27, became a full-time starter for the Browns in 2016, and averaged 143 tackles per year over the next two seasons. In May 2017, Cleveland extended Kirksey for four years and $38MM, locking him in through 2021. He’ll count for $9.95MM and $10.45MM on the Browns’ salary cap in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Fifth-round rookie Mack Wilson will continue to start in place of Kirksey, playing linebacker next to Joe Schobert. Wilson has played 100% of Cleveland’s defensive snaps since taking over for Kirksey in Week 3.
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