Head coach Kevin Stefanski announced Monday that LB Sione Takitaki will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL suffered in Sunday's win against the Texans.
"It's obviously very disappointing," head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "(He was) playing at a really, really high level for us and playing a lot for us, so disappointing for the young man."
Takitaki was enjoying a career-best season in his fourth year with the Browns and totaled a career-high 71 tackles with one sack and a forced fumble in 12 games. He had tallied a team-high nine tackles against the Texans before he exited the game on a punt return in the fourth quarter.
The injury is the third season-ending injury to hit the linebackers room this season — Anthony Walker Jr. and Jacob Phillips each went down with injuries in the first half of the season. Takitaki was one of the linebackers who stepped up in their absence and had played 70 percent or more of snaps in the last five weeks. He had started every game since Week 8.
With Takitaki out, the Browns will turn to Deion Jones, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Tony Fields II and Jordan Kunaszyk at the position. Takitaki had specifically taken over the middle linebacker spot, and Stefanski said the Browns have other options to replace him.
"We have guys that have played MIKE linebacker for us right now, so we have guys who can do it," he said. "We believe in the guys that we have, and they have to step up. Big shoes to fill, and that's part of the game."
The Browns also have Jermaine Carter, Tae Davis and Sam Kamara as linebackers on the practice squad.