It has been reported that Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty has practiced this week and is expected to play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. This is good news for the Browns, as they will need all the help they can get against the league’s third-best rush defense.
The Browns might have even better news come Sunday as Peyton Hillis, who was originally ruled out for the game, is now a game-time decision. He was able to practice on Friday, running drills and taking a couple of handoffs. This marked the first time that Hillis was able to practice since Nov. 4, when he re-injured his hamstring.
It still doesn’t seem likely that Hillis will play on Sunday against the Bengals, though it would appear that one more week of recovery and practice could have him ready to play on December 4 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Should Hillis be able to play, it will give the Browns their most complete offense in weeks. Should Hillis and Hardesty be able to stay healthy through the end of the season, it will give Browns fans and the organization a chance to truly evaluate this offense and the team going into 2012. And for Hillis’ sake, actually getting on the field will help in his contract negotiations during the offseason.