Remember that depth the Browns supposedly had at the running back position? Let’s just pretend we never brought it up. In a way, the Browns did take advantage of that supposed depth, as Peyton Hillis has emerged as the featured back this season. However, it also came at the expense of Jerome Harrison and James Davis’ playing time. Harrison was traded a few weeks ago and Davis is now the latest running back to be let go, as the Browns have released the 2009 seventh-round pick.
With Montario Hardesty out for the whole season, let’s just say that the running back position has not panned out how anyone expected. Hillis was definitely going to contribute, but to the point of single-handedly ending the tenures of both Harrison and Davis? The Harrison-for-Mike Bell trade certainly sealed Davis’ fate, but he wasn’t getting any playing time before then either. Once Hillis stole the show, it was all but over for everybody else.
While I don’t think Jerome Harrison or James Davis would have been the answer at running back, it might have been beneficial to give them some more carries, just to make sure. Hillis is probably more effective when he’s splitting at least some of the carries, as his running style is conducive to injury, as he has already shown. They guy’s tough, but who knows how durable he’ll be.
With Hardesty’s injury history, the running back position is once again shrouded in some uncertainty. Let’s at least ride the Peyton Hillis gravy train for now and hope that it keeps rolling.