Just five games into his lucrative new five-year contract, Browns center Alex Mack has been shut down for the 2014 season. The team announced today (via Twitter) that the standout offensive lineman has been placed on injured reserve, with practice squad lineman Ryan Seymour joining the 53-man roster to take Mack’s place.
Mack, who left Sunday’s game against the Steelers on a cart after suffering a leg injury, was diagnosed with a broken fibula. While there was some hope that he’d be able to undergo surgery and return in eight to 10 weeks, today’s move signals that the injury will sideline Mack for the entire season. His new contract with the team ensures that Mack will receive his $10MM salary for 2014 and will be in line for a fully guaranteed salary of $8MM in 2015.
The loss will be a significant one for the Browns, considering Pro Football Focus (subscription required) has graded Mack as a top-10 center during each year he’s been in the league — he was off to a typically strong start in 2014, having ranked third among centers through the first six weeks of the season. For now, right guard John Greco appears set to slide over to center, with Paul McQuistan the most likely candidate to fill in at right guard.
The Browns also made a couple more minor roster moves today, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, who tweets that the team signed defensive lineman Christian Tupou to the practice squad and cut defensive back Isaiah Trufant from the injured reserve list.