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Linebacker Christian Kirksey done for the season following surgery

Injuries have ravaged the Browns locker room through the first quarter of the season. Particularly on defense where Cleveland played without their entire starting secondary in Week Three and lost linebacker Christian Kirksey to a chest injury.

Kirksey’s injury prompted placement on the injured reserve on Sept. 21 and after some initial belief that the 27-year-old may return this season it appears that is now out of the question.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Kirksey recently had surgery to repair the chest ailment, which will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season.

There were rumblings that the injury was a torn pectoral muscle, which depending on the severity generally does require surgery unless it’s a partial tear.

With Kirksey’s season over, it means Mack Wilson’s promotion to starting WILL linebacker will be permanent for the remainder of 2019. The rookie has held his own in two starts with 12 total tackles and a pass deflection. He’ll continue to get better as he learns on the fly though.

While Wilson has some great potential, Kirksey’s absence shouldn’t be understated. As a captain on the defense his leadership will certainly be missed. One guy who has really raised his game with Kirksey sidelined is veteran linebacker Joe Schobert, who had a career day against Baltimore in Week Four with 17 tackles and an interception.

Unfortunately for Kirksey, injuries have now derailed his career in each of the last two seasons. Last year, a hamstring injury limited the 2014 third-round pick to just seven games. Now he’ll finish 2019 having played in just two contests. That’s nine total games played in the last two years after playing in all 16 games over each of his first four NFL seasons.

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