Cleveland Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon will miss the rest of the season after tearing his Achilles in Sunday’s regular-season finale at FirstEnergy Stadium, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski announced on Monday.
Vernon injured his left leg in the fourth quarter of what became a 24-22 Wild Card-clinching win for the Browns over the Steelers, but the team will now face the Steelers once again in the playoffs and will do so without Vernon.
Vernon’s injury will require surgery. He is slated to become a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.
Adrian Clayborn and Porter Gustin are the Browns’ second-team defensive ends, one of which will likely start opposite Pro Bowler Myles Garrett.
Clayborn has played in 15 games and made two starts this season, his first in Cleveland. He has started 53 total games in his NFL career, which also includes stops in Tampa Bay, Atlanta and New England. He had 12 tackles, three for a loss and 3.5 sacks this season.
Gustin started three games this season in his second year out of USC and finished with 30 tackles, two for a loss.
Browns wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones was Cleveland’s other significant injury on Sunday. He has a concussion and his status for Sunday’s game is to be determined.