The running back competition is crowded, but one guy who has seemingly been lost amid the hype of rookie Montario Hardesty (though he is now injured) and newly-acquired Peyton Hillis – not to mention the expectations of Jerome Harrison – is second-year back James Davis. After a stellar preseason in 2009, Davis was poised to be a breakout star and entrench himself as the running back of the future.
A shoulder injury ended his season – after just one game – but it did not stop him from being involved in the team, as Davis explains in this cleveland.com article:
“When I got injured, I didn’t just go home and rehab,” he said. “I stayed here to rehab and went to meetings. That stuff matured me a lot. I don’t worry about anything when I’m on the field now. I’m a lot calmer, and I know what’s going on.”
Now, Davis must fight for his spot on the team. Like rookie offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao, Davis is taking advantage of injuries to show what he is made of. With both Hardesty and Hillis out, Davis is out to prove that he is ready to contribute. If he can have as impressive a preseason as he did in 2009, Davis could find himself in position to do so.
I am still not sold on Jerome Harrison being the guy the Browns can rely on to be a feature back, and with Hardesty hurt and potentially losing ground, a player like Davis proves his worth. The depth of this position is showing in training camp, which is good, even if the talent there still remains enigmatic.