Ben Tate Returns to Practice, Likely to Start


The Cleveland Browns returned to practice today off of their Bye Week. Ben Tate also returned and looks healthy coming off his Week 1 knee injury. If healthy Tate gives the Browns serious depth at the running back spot. Rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell played well in his stead and now will have to deal with Tate’s return.

For his part coach Mike Pettine reportedly stated that if Tate is healthy he will start for the Browns this week:

It is likely the only answer given their backfield. Tate is the one with experience that the Browns can feel comfortable in all situations. Even in their short time on the field Pettine didn’t seem fully confident at all times with his two rookies. West lost carries to Crowell in the second half last week even.

Tate is the veteran and, if playing well, the Browns should look to run him into the ground. Having West and Crowell to relieve him at different times will help keep the young guys rested and avoid them hitting the rookie wall. Long term, delaying heavy loads on the rookies, and instead working Tate, should help the Browns care for their young backs.

Tate is only signed for two years after which both West and Crowell should be available to handle the load, while also staying fresh. Tate has a history of injuries as well. He could go down next game. It would be more shocking, given his history, to see him finish out the last 13 games healthy than to see him injured once again. T

he good news for the Browns is that West and Crowell have shown they can take care of things when Tate goes down. How the three of them split carries will be a big question going forward, as Tate noted:

How do you think the Browns should use their three backs?