Peyton Hillis is guaranteed to play in the Cleveland Browns upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers considering he missed the team's victory over the Seattle Seahawks due to injury. That isn't a terribly huge blow as far as head coach Pat Shurmur is concerned, however, considering a solid performance put in by back-up Montario Hardesty on Sunday.
Shurmur was asked about Hardesty's situation going forward after Sunday's win, specifically regarding Hillis's return. Not surprisingly, Shurmur had good things to say about his back-up.
"Well he has no choice right now. He played like a starting running back and he battled. He wasn't perfect," Shurmur said during the post-game press conference. I'm sure he's going to be sore tomorrow, but yes, I think for the time being he's earned the right to carry the football and we're going to welcome Peyton back when he's healthy and hopefully we can keep building on that."
That probably isn't an answer Hillis was hoping for considering he's still looking for a new contract, but Hardesty's play does warrant him at least being somewhat involved in the team's offense.