Found May 12, 2012 on Death, Taxes, and Rebuilding:

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By: Eric Grinnell

The excitement around the Cleveland Browns first rookie mini-camp was dulled quite a bit yesterday by the news that defense tackle Phil Taylor suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will miss 5-6 months. Like everyone else, I was really disappointed when I heard the news—I just wrote in my early look at the Browns defense that Taylor was my choice for breakout player of the year. So yeah, I was as upset as anyone when the news broke.

Since the injury, I’ve heard a lot of friends and Browns fans utter common phrases like, “only in Cleveland,” or “we’re cursed,” or “this never happens to anyone else.” But I think this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact is, this is the NFL. Injuries happen…to everyone. Here are some significant injuries that other teams around the league have held to deal with that I could think of off the top of my head:

  • The Texans lost starting QB Matt Schaub, 2nd string QB Matt Leinart, All-Pro defensive end Mario WIlliams, and All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson (and missed All-Pro running back Arian Foster at the beginning of the year) last year and still made it to the second round of the playoff.
  • The Packers lost running back Ryan Grant, tight end Jermichael Finley, Aaron Rodgers for a game during the height of their regular season playoff run, Charles Woodson and Donald Driver during the Super Bowl, and still managed to win Super Bowl 2011.
  • This year, the Packers lost left tackle Chad Clifton, tackle Bryan Bulaga, tackle Derrek Sherrod, and Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins.
  • In 2010, the Steelers were down to fourth string QB Charlie Batch after Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon were injured and Big Ben was suspended. The Steelers finished 3-1 in the 4 games without Big Ben and made it to the Super Bowl.
  • Last year, the Eagles lost starting quarterback Michael Vick at the beginning of the year, which was the start of the “Dream Team”
  • The Colts lost tight end Dallas Clark and receiver Austin Collie during the 2010 season and then lost Peyton Manning for a full year this past season
  • Tom Brady suffered an ACL tear in the first game in ’08 after his record setting year in ’07is
  • The Ravens just lost Terrell Suggs probably for the year (despite what he says) due to a torn achilles

These are just a few injuries that I could think of off the top of my head, I’m sure there are many more. But here’s the other thing…all of the injuries l listed above happened to contending teams. I expect the Browns to make a big jump this year, but I don’t think the Browns are going to make the playoffs.

My point is really two-fold: first, significant injuries are something every team has to deal with, and two, if there is a glass half-full way to look at Taylor’s injury, it’s that the Browns probably weren’t going to make the playoffs this year anyway. I’d rather lose Taylor now then in a contending year. So, is Phil Taylor’s injury a shame? Yes, off course. But let’s realize that this doesn’t happen “only in Cleveland.”

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