HomeTrade RumorsJedrick Wills, Browns Left Tackle, to Miss Remainder of Season After Surgery

Jedrick Wills, Browns Left Tackle, to Miss Remainder of Season After Surgery

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Stationed on IR with an MCL sprain, Jedrick Wills is eligible to be activated. But it does not look like the Browns will have their top left tackle available at any point down the stretch.

Rather than making a return from an injury that often leads to seasons pausing but not ending, Wills underwent surgery Tuesday morning and is not expected to return this season, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz reports. While this is an arthroscopic procedure, it is slated to sideline the fourth-year blocker for the rest of the season. The Browns have since announced the procedure will keep Wills off the field the rest of the way.

This deals a blow to a Browns team that has been playing without top right tackle Jack Conklin since Week 2. Cleveland also lost fill-in tackle starter Dawand Jones to a season-ending injury as well. Conklin suffered an ACL tear in the Browns’ opener; Jones sustained a knee injury in practice leading up to the team’s Week 14 game. Wills’ status update will continue Cleveland’s uphill battle at tackle.

The Browns started James Hudson and Geron Christian at tackle Sunday. That combination was good enough to propel a now-Joe Flacco-quarterbacked team past the Jaguars, despite Christian arriving as a practice squad pickup on Halloween. A 2018 third-round Washington pick, Christian is on team No. 6. But he has made five starts for the Browns this season. A 2021 fourth-rounder, Hudson has made three this year and 10 during his Browns run. This looks like the combination Cleveland will need to rely on going forward.

One of four tackles who went off the 2020 draft board in the top 13 picks, Wills came off that year’s draft board 10th — behind Andrew Thomas but ahead of Mekhi Becton and Tristan Wirfs. The Browns picked up the Alabama alum’s fifth-year option this offseason, locking him into a $14.1MM salary for 2024. This injury-marred season blunts any momentum the team had hoped Wills would carry into the offseason, potentially complicating extension talks.

Coming into the season, Wills had never missed more than four games during any of his NFL slates. This gave the Browns some stability at tackle during a period that has involved two severe Conklin injuries. Cleveland gave Conklin a four-year, $60MM extension in December 2022. This points to the Browns running out the Wills-Conklin tandem for a fifth straight season come 2024. Those two will be tabbed to protect Deshaun Watson and likely open run lanes for Nick Chubb. As it stands now, the Browns’ offense is missing cornerstone cogs as it attempts to complement a high-end defense.

Watson and Chubb are done for the year. While Jerome Ford (feat. Kareem Hunt) has been the team’s backfield solution, the Browns are on QB No. 4 in Flacco. Despite not playing for the season’s first three months and being a month away from his 39th birthday, Flacco has played well in two starts with the Browns. The former Super Bowl MVP has done so despite the issues at tackle. While placing an immobile passer behind two backup tackles represents a shaky situation for the Browns, they are atop a jumbled AFC wild-card race at 8-5.

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