By Tom Withers
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND — Browns starting defensive end Desmond Bryant will miss the upcoming season with a chest injury.
Cleveland’s leader in sacks last season, the 30-year-old Bryant underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn pectoral muscle. The Browns said Bryant sustained the injury during a workout last week.
The team said Wednesday that Bryant is expected to make a full recovery, but “will unlikely be able to return during the 2016 season.”
“We feel awful for Des,” said first-year coach Hue Jackson. “This is a young man that worked extremely hard this off season to prepare himself for the 2016 season. He really bought into our coaching, our team-over-self-philosophy and was intent on becoming a leader for our team. We all understand that injuries are part of this profession and as a team you have to find a way to overcome them.”
The Browns signed Bryant as a free agent in 2013 after the former Harvard player spent four seasons with the Oakland Raiders. He had six sacks in 14 games last season and has recorded 14 1/2 sacks during his three seasons with Cleveland.
Bryant had recently said he hoped to serve as a mentor to Cleveland’s younger players.
Bryant expressed his gratitude for well-wishers.
“While I’m frustrated and disappointed about having to miss some time out there with my teammates, I take comfort in knowing that preparations have already begun for an epic return,” he said.