Alex Mack could return in '14 if he only suffered a break

The Browns might have to travel through the rest of this season without one of their brightest young stars.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that center Alex Mack's campaign is over after he suffered a broken fibula in Sunday's 31-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, Mike Pettine left the door open for Mack's return in 2014 during his Monday news conference. The coach said if the damage is limited to a break, Mack's timetable could be 8-10 weeks. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Mack was hurt during a second-quarter rushing attempt by the Browns, crumbling to the ground as trainers descended. Fitted with an air cast over his left leg, Mack was carted off to the locker room and quickly ruled out by the team.

Starting right guard John Greco did a solid job taking over at center -- with Paul McQuistan sliding into Greco's guard spot -- but there's nobody on this roster who can equal Mack's consistency or, before Sunday, his durability; the 2009 first-round pick had never missed a snap coming into Week 6.

Cleveland still boasts one of the NFL's top cast of blockers, but Mack will be missed by this run-heavy attack.

We recap all the Week 6 action on a jaunty edition of the "Around the NFL Podcast." Find more Around The NFL content on NFL Now.

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