BEREA, Ohio -- Rookie linebacker Mike Junkin, the Cleveland Browns' first-round pick and the fifth player selected overall in the 1987 draft, will be lost for the rest of the season with an injured left wrist.
Junkin has a chip fracture and a dislocation in the wrist, and will have surgery performed Friday at the Cleveland Clinic by Dr. James Culver. Junkin, who turns 23 Nov. 21, was injured at San Diego two weeks ago when blocked to the ground by Chargers tight end Pete Holohan.
'A re-examination showed that the bone chip was attached to the ligament and calcification was not taking place,' Browns coach Marty Schottenheimer said Wednesday at Baldwin-Wallace College. 'There is instability in the wrist.
'Mike will be out the rest of the season and will be ready for mini-camp next year.'
Junkin had just one solo tackle in four games as a contract holdout in training camp limited his development. Ironically, the pick used to draft the 6-foot-3, 242-pound Duke product was acquired from San Diego. Cleveland traded linebacker Chip Banks and the two teams swapped first- and second-round picks.
Schottenheimer reiterated that the Browns never expected Junkin to assume Banks' role at left outside linebacker. Junkin is listed third on the depth chart behind veterans Lucius Sanford and Anthony Griggs.
'When we traded Chip, we didn't expect anybody to come in and perform at Chip's level,' said the coach. 'All the things that could go wrong for Mike have gone wrong. It's a serious injury.'
The Browns drew criticism when Junkin -- described by team scout Dom Anile as playing 'like a mad dog in a meathouse' -- was drafted ahead of Penn State's Shane Conlan. Conlan subsequently was drafted by Buffalo. The Bills, who visit the Browns Sunday, have a tandem of starting rookie linebackers in Conlan and Cornelius Bennett.
'We had Shane rated ahead of Junkin,' said Buffalo Coach Marv Levy. 'But that's our opinion. Junkin is a fine player.'
Junkin did not attend Wednesday's practice and meetings. Monday, he said the wrist was 'coming along.'
Schottenheimer said Junkin would be placed on injured reserve by the end of the week. No immediate personnel changes are planned since linebacker David Grayson already had been activated last week.
'David will take Mike's place in the 'Bear' defense,' said Schottenheimer.
Cleveland waived two players off injured reserve -- linebacker Ralph Malone and tight end Danny Thomas. Eleven players remain on injured reserve.