Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson left the game against the New York Giants with a neck injury. Initially, it wasn't clear what happened as he rolled over on his back and after being tended to on the field, walked off under his own power immediately to the locker room.
Monday, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said he didn't know if Richardson would be able to practice this week, but said he'd be okay long term. The Browns defense may not need him for their game against the New York Jets, but they certainly want to have him for their finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the postseason in which the Browns are close to clinching a berth.
Richardson has been the team's most consistent defensive tackle this season and they can ill afford to lose him or really any of the handful of standouts on that side of the ball. He made a few impact plays in the game to help the Browns take care of the Giants including on a fourth down stop that caused a turnover on downs.
Without Richardson, the Browns will need to rely more heavily on rookie Jordan Elliott at the three-tech. The team could also have Larry Ogunjobi play some reps there in addition to playing at the nose. Vincent Taylor is the team's next man up at nose while the Browns might need to promote Joey Ivie from the practice squad to help at three.
It's some consolation that Richardson didn't suffer a more serious injury and he could be back this season, but it's tough for Richardson, who has only missed seven games in his eight seasons in the NFL. If he's unable to play this week, it would be the first game he's missed in his time with the Browns.