Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Trent Richardson to play Sunday – unless he doesn’t

Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson will suit up on Sunday against San Diego despite a painful injury to his ribs.

Unless he doesn’t, that is.

“I think what’s important is if he’s healthy to play, he plays,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said on Wednesday. “If they tell me he is at no risk to hurt if further then we’re playing ball. As I watch him in practice, just like we watched him in the game, if we feel like that’s something that we can and should do we’ll do it otherwise we’re getting ready to play.”

Richardson, like most NFL players is going to try and play even though he is injured. That does raise the question of whether or not the Browns should take the decision out of Richardson’s hands.

“He’s being honest and trying to be convincing at the same time,” Shurmur said. “That’s not the first time that we’ve encountered a player that’s tried to do that. That’s where the relationship is where you know the player and you watch the player and you know what he looks like when he’s feeling great regardless of what he tells you. I’m more able to do it this year knowing the players where last year coming off of a lockout I was still getting a feel for some of that. In the case of Trent, what I do know is this, he’s a competitor, he wants to be out there and no matter how he feels he’s going to try to convince me to go out there. I just know that when I go into that decision making about whether he should be or shouldn’t be.”

OK, then.

As for Richardson, it sounds like he’s going to be ready to at least give it a try against a second-ranked Chargers defense that is giving up just 71.2 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry.

“My teammates tell me the I looked way better than I did last week and at the end of the week I will look way better at the beginning of this week than I did at the end of last week,” Richardson said. “That’s a big plus and coach has come to me telling me, ‘You look way better.’ In my mindset I feel way better, I feel much stronger.”

Oh, and Richardson reportedly wore a LeBron James T-shirt at practice today, which fired up the hoople heads.

Just another reason why we are glad we don’t listen to Cleveland sports talk radio.

In other Browns news …

Linebacker Scott Fujita is going on season-ending injured reserve with a neck injury.

While Fujita is on the way out, defensive tackle Phil Taylor returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the off-season.

“It felt good,” Taylor said. “I just have to knock out the cobwebs and stuff … Just getting back into that football shape. You can run all you want, but you’re not going to be in football shape until you put the pads on and do the necessary things you’ve got to do during a play and things like that.”

The Browns have a few weeks before they have to make a decision on activating Taylor.

“This is not unique for a guy to come back at this point in the season and we’ve just got to watch him work,” Shurmur said. “We’ve got to get him out there and let him practice, get him first into the swing of things and then step up the workload and see how he handles it. We’ll see. It’s reasonable to think maybe next week or the week after, of course we’ve got a bye in there so we’ll see.”

***

Finally, want to own a poster diagramming the play that finished off The Drive?

Yeah, we don’t either. (h/t UniWatch)

(Photo by ClevelandBrowns.com)

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