Browns DT Phil Taylor injured lifting weights

Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor’s season could be in

jeopardy after he injured a chest muscle lifting weights on

Thursday.

The team said the massive Taylor, Cleveland’s first-round draft

pick in 2011, hurt his left pectoral muscle while working out

during the team’s offseason conditioning program. The Browns said

Taylor will be further evaluated on Monday to determine a course of

treatment.

It is not yet known if Taylor tore the muscle or how long he

could be sidelined. Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson missed most

of the 2009 and 2010 seasons with torn pectoral muscles, but

returned after two surgeries to lead the team in tackles this past

season.

Taylor’s agent, Peter Schaffer, said surgery is possible.

”Either he will be fine and play well or he will correct the

problem and be fine and play well,” Schaffer said in an email.

”Those are the only two options we are looking at or thinking

about.”

The 6-foot-3, 335-pound Taylor was selected by the Browns with

the No. 21 overall pick in 2011. He started all 16 games as a

rookie and finished with 59 tackles and four sacks. Primarily a run

stopper, Taylor and fellow rookie Jabaal Sheard vastly improved

Cleveland’s defensive front.

The Browns were criticized by some fans and draft experts for

taking Cincinnati defensive tackle John Hughes in the third round

last month. But if Taylor is out for any significant time, Hughes

could be thrust into the starting lineup or get even more playing

time in the tackle rotation with veterans Brian Schaefering, Scott

Paxson and fellow rookie Billy Winn, a sixth-round pick from Boise

State.

Hughes reported to Berea on Thursday for a physical with the

team’s other rookies, who will participate in a three-day minicamp

this weekend.