Cleveland Browns right tackle Jack Conklin's season is over after he tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in Sunday's Week 1 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters Monday that an MRI confirmed the injuries after Conklin left Sunday's game on a cart. The two-time All-Pro will be replaced by fourth-round rookie Dawand Jones, who took his place in the lineup Sunday.
"When he's ready, he's gonna be back in this building helping us," Stefanski said of Conklin. "He's just a big part of that offensive line room ... just for this team what he provides. Disappointed for him. But classic football. You never know when these things happen. It's gonna be a next-man-up type of thing."
Conklin sustained the injury when he fell over Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson while protecting quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Here’s the play where Browns OT Jack Conklin injured his left knee (same knee he suffered a torn ACL in back in 2018). Doesn’t look good. pic.twitter.com/eLjpJAyIAe
— ACL Recovery Club (@ACLrecoveryCLUB) September 11, 2023
Conklin sustained a significant knee injury in 2021, when he missed all but seven games in part because of a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. He returned from that injury to play 14 games last season, then signed a four-year, $60 million extension in the offseason.
The injury puts a damper on an otherwise stellar start for the Browns, who overwhelmed the division rival Bengals in Sunday's 24-3 win. An All-Pro in 2016 and 2020, Conklin will be 30 years old at the start of next season.
Stefanski was encouraged by Jones' performance in Conklin's stead on Sunday.
“Some really good moments, some things that he’s got to clean up,” Stefanski said. “Honestly, any young player, when you get thrown into the mix early, there’s going to be some time to catch up. And I thought he had some good moments, some things that we will work real hard to clean up.”
Jones will have an extra day of preparation for Cleveland's Week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers next Monday.