Can Trent Richardson get healthy? Will Trent Richardson stay healthy? These are the great questions of our time, though I’m still not convinced there’s reason to be seriously worried. Bones break, it happens.
Writing about injuries may have seemed tedious back in May (didn’t stop us though), but now we’re about three weeks away from training camp, which makes the discussion a little less obsessive. A little.
The moment any offensive player of note misses time in August, the loudest alarms will ring throughout the land and fantasy ADPs will fall to some fiery hell. That will undoubtedly happen with Richardson if he misses any training camp practice time, because following the end of his college career and a single NFL season, he’s earned the reputation of being some kind of large talking band-aid. I suppose this happens when as a running back, you have a shin strain which could develop into a stress fracture.
Collectively, fantasy fiends will continue to be worried about Richardson, because that exercise satisfies a deep inner need to worry about something. But right now, though, there are reasons to be at ease.
Mostly, this: he’s running, he hasn’t suffered a setback yet, and he’s on track to be ready for when Cleveland opens its training camp. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer answered a question on Richardson’s status in a recent mailbag post, and wrote these encouraging words:
Richardson has begun his running program, as scheduled, at home in Pensacola, Fla., so he’s still on track for camp. But the Browns will err on the side of caution and do whatever it takes to get him to the season healthy. If he’s somewhat limited early on in camp, it wouldn’t be the worst decision.
She’s right, it wouldn’t at all be the worst decision. Though again, if Richardson is limited or misses any time in August, there will be at least some mild and instinctive worrying. After all, risk management is in many ways the foundation of a successful fantasy football team, and T-Rich certainly comes with some of it, especially at his current first round ADP in 10-team leagues (9.8 overall at Fantasy Football Calculator).
The counterpoint is easy: there’s an inherent risk with any running back, and passing on Richardson because of some poor injury luck throughout his first NFL year could lead to some hindsight pain, especially if he’s leaned on heavily early with Josh Gordon suspended.