For the second time in the last 10 days, Cleveland Browns rookie running back
He missed most of a session last week with a headache, but was held out of Tuesday’s practice with what second-year coach Pat Shurmur called “a sore knee.”
“We’ll evaluate it and see as we move forward here, but that’s why we held him out,” Shurmur said. “I’m always concerned about injuries, but at this point, we’ll just find out what it is. He’s been practicing well and he’s just a little bit sore right now. We’ll just see where he is.”
The Browns kick off the preseason on Friday night against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Lions were a playoff team from a year ago and have won two straight preseason meetings against Cleveland, including last year’s 30-28 come-from-behind victory at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
When asked if Richardson’s sore knee would prevent him from playing against the Lions, Shurmur said, “it might.”
“We’ll have to evaluate him further, which we’ll do here after practice,” Shurmur said. “Then, we’ll see where we go from there. We’ll have to see. There’s a chance he won’t play on Friday.”
If Richardson is unable to play Friday, he will be the Browns’ second rookie running back in the last three years to miss the team’s preseason opener.
That return to the field was short-lived, as Hardesty suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and missed all of 2010. Since that time, Hardesty has started four of the 10 games in which he’s played. He has gained 266 yards on 88 carries and caught 14 passes for 122 yards.
“I want to see efficient play,” Shurmur said of the running backs. “I want to see strong runs. If we throw the football, I want to see them catch it. When we throw the football, it’s very important that they pass-protect. It’ll be good. We’ve got a long line of backs there that we’re going to get a few more reps now if Trent does not play in the game. They’re going to get a chance to show us what they can do.
“There was a question earlier in the week, ‘Oh, my goodness. How are you going to get a chance to see everybody?’ Well, here we go and I think it’s amazing how training camp takes care of some of that.”
The Browns initially moved Tuesday’s practice from a morning session to the afternoon so those on the coaching staff and in the front office could attend the memorial service for Garrett Reid, the 29-year old son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid.
The younger Reid passed away Sunday in Philadelphia’s dormitory at training camp.
“Practice started a little bit later because we were a little delayed getting back from Philadelphia, but the guys handled it well,” Shurmur said. “We got a lot of good work in. Guys competed well. I could see that some of these guys have camp legs, which you get with this time of year. We’re about 4½ weeks out from our first game, so that’s natural. Part of the grind of training camp is fighting your body and your mind and making sure you come out here and compete. I think our guys did that. It was a good afternoon of work.”
Rookie wide receiver
“He’s really getting better every day in our eyes when we watch his body of work each day, but I would say his mind and body are at battle right now,” Shurmur said. “They’re battling and I think he’ll push through it. This is unlike anything he’s probably ever been through in terms of an NFL training camp. He’s getting better and he’s improving and he’s fighting through it and I think that’s the important part.”
SCRIMMAGING IN CAMP
Many teams around the National Football League are holding joint workouts this week. The New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots are practicing together before meeting in the preseason later this week. The Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs are also holding such workouts.
Shurmur said he would consider doing something similar with the Browns in the future.
“If the schedule permits, I’m not against it. I’m really not,” Shurmur said. “I think, this year, because we had it planned out the way we do, I wanted to just stay with the traditional format and just see how it plays out. Then, next year, the schedule permitting, I’m not against it if it fits.”
“Mo’s done a fantastic job in camp,” Shurmur said. “He came in healthy and had the right mindset. As you notice, we’re playing him outside and inside and I see a very focused guy that wants to have a good year.”
“For him to catch up, he needs to stay healthy and stay on the field and practice and then, when he gets into the game, make some plays,” Shurmur said. “I think that’s the reality of it. For guys that miss practice time, we’re out here and judging and evaluating all the time and they miss opportunities to be evaluated. For guys that miss practice, that really haven’t proven that they can play in this league at a consistent level, they need to practice and then, they need to do it in the game.”