Browns starting right tackle Jack Conklin will miss the remainder of the 2023 NFL season with a knee injury, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Monday. Conklin was carted off of the field after playing just 22 snaps in Week 1’s matchup against the Bengals, immediately feared to have suffered a serious injury after getting rolled up on by DE Trey Hendrickson on a pass rush attempt.
The 2x All-Pro just signed a four-year, $60 million extension with the Browns this offseason to keep him with the team through the 2026 season. This was Conklin’s fourth season with the Browns, having originally been selected by the Titans eighth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.
2023 fourth-round rookie OT Dawand Jones stepped in for Conklin following the injury, not having allowed a single pressure over his 20 pass-blocking snaps. At 6’8 and 359 pounds, it’s his size that could prove to be a huge advantage over the Steelers pass rush (literally), having allowed just a 1.3% pressure rate in his final season at Ohio State to lead all offensive tackles, per PFF.
It was a brutal day all around in the AFC North on the injury front, even aside from Conklin, as the Ravens lost starting running back J.K. Dobbins to a ruptured Achilles and safety Marcus Williams, who is feared to have suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the season debut.
The Steelers will face the Browns in Week 2 on Monday Night Football, likely to test that right side of the line early and often to see if Jones’ size really can hold up against the Steelers pass rush.