The Cleveland Browns hit a stroke of bad luck when the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal came out and linebacker Scott Fujita was handed a three-game suspension. Now, his replacement for those first three games won't be able to ... do any replacing. Linebacker Chris Gocong was supposed to fill the void, but he suffered a non-contact injury during practice and there was immediate thought that it was serious.
Unfortunately, it is serious. Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reports that Gocong will be out for the entire season with a torn right Achilles:
Browns linebacker Chris Gocong suffered a torn right Achilles in practice this morning and will undergo surgery as early as Monday, Browns coach Pat Shurmur said.
There's little chance of Gocong returning this season, and will probably be placed on injured reserve rather than ride the roster in hopes of returning in the coming months. Gocong was expected not only to replace Fujita at the strongside linebacker position for the first three games - he's also the starting weakside linebacker otherwise, so it really hurts the Browns at this point.
It's a major blow because the defense is meant to be the strong point of this team. Not many saw them finishing 10th in the league last season, but they did, and many expected them to be the highlight of these team again while the new-look offense finds its identity. Gocong isn't one of the best in the league at his position by any stretch, but losing a starter like this will just put more pressure on rookies Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden to get things done on offense.