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Browns confirm Phil Taylor will have pectoral surgery

The post-draft optimism in Cleveland didn't last long.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur confirmed Friday that last year's first-round draft pick, nose tackle Phil Taylor, will undergo surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle next week.

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The injury was first reported Thursday, but the team had yet to complete tests on Taylor.

Taylor was up and down as a rookie, but he showed enough potential for the Browns to view him as a solid core piece of their defense.

"He's going to miss a significant amount of time ... more months than weeks," Shurmur told reporters. "It's too early to speculate how long that will be. It's just one of those things that happened. It's unfortunate. We feel bad for Phil. But he's in good spirits, and he's going to come back from this thing stronger than ever."

The good news here is that the injury happened in May instead of September. Taylor should be able to make it back during the 2012 season. He might have to start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which would knock him out of the first six weeks.

The team might have to count on third-round pick John Hughes to start in Taylor's absence. The Browns have the makings of a solid defensive line when Taylor is healthy, with underrated tackle Ahytba Rubin and second-year pro Jabaal Sheard in place.

UPDATE: Not long after Shurmur confirmed Taylor's injury, team president Mike Holmgren said, via The Plain Dealer, that Taylor's season wasn't necessarily lost.

"I think there's a chance he can come back and play (this season)," Holmgren said.

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