In yesterday’s preseason match-up against the Bears, rookie RB Montario Hardesty ran well, gaining 25 yards on seven carries. Hardesty also scored the Browns only touchdown of the game, though later in the game he had to leave due to a knee injury.
According to Pro Football Talk, initial tests showed a torn ACL and today’s MRI confirmed that diagnosis – Hardesty will be out for the season.
This news obviously changes some things.
Hardesty was expected to compete with RB Jerome Harrison for the starting gig, but obviously that will not be able to happen. Thank God we have some depth at running back this season.
So what’s next? By every indication it looks as though Jerome Harrison will get the bulk of the carries, at least to start the season. Also expect Peyton “Thundering” Hillis to get more action at RB (I’m still getting excited about that “jumbo” package with Hillis and FB Lawrence Vickers). Let’s not forget about last year’s rookie RB, who shined last preseason before a season-ending shoulder injury in the third game last season, James Davis. Davis filled in nicely yesterday in the absence of Hardesty, rushing for 66 yards on 15 carries and also making five receptions for 53 yards. The Browns also have RB Chris Jennings on the roster, who didn’t play much this preseason, but may still end up on the active roster. If he does not end up on the active roster, then at the very least he may end up on the practice squad for depth purposes.
Just want to wish Montario a safe and speedy recovery, and hope to see you next preseason.