Healthy for the first time since suffering an injury back in the spring, Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Phillip Taylor made his triumphant return to the practice field on Wednesday, according to a report by Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan.
A first-round pick by the Browns out of Baylor in 2011, the 335-pound Taylor tore his left pectoral muscle while lifting weights in early May and has missed nearly six months of action. Taylor was placed on Cleveland's physically unable to perform (PUP) list immediately before the start of the season, and was obviously thrilled to be back on the practice field for the first time in 2012.
"It felt good," Taylor said following Wednesday's practice. "Just had to knock off the cobwebs a little bit. I’m glad I’m back out here now and getting back in the swing of things."
As far as when he might actually be able to return to action on Sundays, the second-year lineman knows that it will take some time to get acclimated after missing such a significant portion of the year. "I’m just taking it day by day right now so maybe the next 2 weeks or so," Taylor said."It’s my first week of practice and you’re not going to throw somebody in after 1 week of practice after not playing for half the season."
Coming off a four-sack rookie campaign where he played in all 16 games and tallied 59 total tackles, Taylor's immense presence on the line will be a serious boost for head coach Pat Shurmur's lackluster run defense. The Browns have sputtered out of the gate with a woeful 1-6 record, and the team will need to hope that Taylor's eventual return will help spurn a second-half turnaround.