Unable to finish out his team's Week 7 game on Sunday due to a rib injury, Cleveland Browns tailback Trent Richardson could potentially be shut down for the next two games according to a report by Ed Werder of ESPN.
Despite wearing protective padding, Richardson re-aggravated his rib injury against the Colts late in the first half and did not return, giving way to backup Montario Hardesty to open the third quarter. The 5'9, 230-pound rookie gained just eight yards on eight carries before exiting, but was hit squarely in the ribs by a defender and is now faced with a more serious timetable.
There remains a good chance that Richardson will be shut down until Cleveland's Week 10 bye in order to keep him fresh for a final push to the season, but Werder reports that there could be some internal conflict in the organization.
"The fear being that if they don't, he'll be debilitated by his injury all year long," Werder said. "Pat Shurmur has to win some games here. They've only got one victory and Jimmy Haslam the new owner says he wants a stronger finish if he's going to bring back the coaching staff."
Richardson's injury is clearly much more serious than some originally anticipated, so it makes perfect sense that shutting him down temporarily is the smartest move from a long-term perspective. Even though Shurmur likely wants to keep his dominant interior runner on the field at any cost in order to hopefully save his job, Richardson could theoretically have a much bigger second-half impact if he is completely fresh entering Week 11.