The Cleveland Browns have remained optimistic all along that rookie running back Trent Richardson wouldn't miss any time in the regular season. It's going to come down to the wire, but recent reports indicate that it's looking more likely that he's in action on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles for the opener. Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reports that Richardson is getting closer to returning to the practice field:
Coach Pat Shurmur remains "very optimistic'' that Richardson will play next Sunday against the Eagles in the opener. "He's very close (to practicing),'' said Shurmur. "If he's ready, he'll play.''
According to Cabot, Richardson was outside riding the exercise bike on Saturday. It's the first time he's been seen doing as much since having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Aug. 9. Richardson is a running back, so it's likely that he'll be in action on Sunday if he's cleared to go, even without much practice, if at all.
Transitioning to the NFL level is always tough, but for running backs, it's generally a bit easier. Their job has a lot of ins and outs, but at the end of the day, the Browns need a guy who can grab a football and pick up yardage, and by all accounts, that's what Richardson will be able to do. If he returns to a full practice, smart money is on him playing on Sunday.