Archive for the ‘Trent Richardson’ Category

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I just don’t know anymore, Trent Richardson. I just don’t know.

I’m torn, man, and I’m trying not to overreact here, which is often a lost art. So before we go about the business of doing that, here’s the latest on his injury which seemed minor yesterday, and although it’s certainly not major now, it’s a little more than minor. Follow?

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Speak some truth to us, Tony Grossi.

The ESPN Cleveland reporter was asked to put a percentage on the likelihood that we get a Trent Richardson sighting this week during the Browns’ regular-season finale. His response? The lowest percentage possible. As in no percentage. Zero.

Grossi has confirmed what we all know to be true: Richardson almost definitely won’t play against the Steelers, because there’s absolutely no point in Richardson playing against anyone this week. The rookie has been battling an ankle injury, and he’s taken a pounding this year while playing through several other various bruises and bumps and such.

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The odd thing about being productive in any meaningful manner on the football field as an offensive player is that generally you need to have the football in your hands. Sure, you can do other things like block, and run decoy routes and such, but if you’re a marquee offensive player — or, say, the best offensive player on your team — having possession of a ball is much more favorable.

This was a problem for Trent Richardson yesterday during the Browns’ loss to Washington in a 38-21 game that didn’t really start to get out of hand until midway through the third quarter. Prior to yesterday Richardson was receiving 19 carries per game, which is actually a little low for a running back of his caliber, and especially a rare running back who was a top five overall pick last spring.

So what did he end up with yesterday then? 11 carries. Only 11, and if that doesn’t sound awful enough, I’ll then refer you to the second half, when Richardson was given only two carries. This is the part where I remind you again about Richardson’s normal high volume of touches, a workload that resulted in five straight games with 20 carries or more between weeks 8 and 13.

The move away from the Browns’ usual offensive tendencies went beyond Richardson, which was an odd trend for a young and developing team that had won three straight games, and is looking to build momentum to close out the season. Sometimes it’s nice to feel good about yourself during the long offseason, you know. In total, the Browns attempted 15 runs, and 35 passes.

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Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Browns have won two straight games and they appear to be making strides as a young team. They had five plays of 20 or more yards against the Oakland Raiders in Week 13 and they forced another turnover, their ninth in two weeks. I know what you’re thinking: “they beat the Raiders,” but a win is a win is a win. During this most recent win, the Browns were able to dismantle the Raiders’ pass coverage with multiple big plays, including one that really intrigued me: a 22-yard reception by tight end Ben Watson.

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It’s that time again. Time for your daily dose of tears, cheers, and other such emotions that lead to loud noises and possibly vengeful outbursts.

We’ll keep updating this post with reaction to the notable or surprising early game actives/inactives, and so far there are few that fall under either category, although the handful we have are pretty significant.

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Trent Richardson wants nothing more than to play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. He let that be known after practice Wednesday:

“That’s just never been in me to sit down. I only sat a game when I had to and I couldn’t go out there. I’m going to go out there and see what I can do. If I can’t finish the game, [backup running back] Montario [Hardesty is] going to be there and he’s going to do what he [does] every week when I’m not in the game.”

Fast forward to today, when Richardson was officially listed as questionable despite having three good days of practice this week, according to head coach Pat Shurmur. Richardson has been dealing with a nagging rib cartilage injury that he tried to play through last week. In the game against the Colts, he carried the ball eight times for only eight yards, both season lows for the third-overall pick in the 2012 draft.

If Richardson can go, he will be up against a Chargers defense that holds opposing running backs to just 71.2 yards per game on the ground, good for second best in the NFL. So it’ll definitely a tough task ahead for both him and backup Montario Hardesty, who would be pressed into the starter’s role if Richardson is a late scratch.

This is a difficult situation, because if you’ve handcuffed Hardesty to Richardson it’s hard to know which one to start, because even if T-Rich starts the game he’s not sure if he’ll finish. Given where you drafted him, you’re likely forced to play Richardson if he is indeed starting. So rub a rabbit’s foot or something, but brace for another week of diminished returns.

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Those are pretty much the worst words I’ve ever heard on a Monday. Actually, no, the worst Monday words came earlier this morning when I was informed that our office coffee maker which grinds fresh, delicious beans is out of service for several days. Worlds asploded.

But that’s selfish, as my high-caffeine needs are secondary to your running back needs, especially those of you in keeper leagues who spent highly on Trent Richardson. We need to step back from our ledge, friends, because T-Rich still has the same high ceiling long-term keeper value due to his bulky frame that’s paired with great speed. So no worries there.

In the short term, though, there’s plenty of reason to be worried, especially with a player at a notoriously brutal position who’s already off to a slow start after recovering from August knee surgery.

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