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Browns Could Try Josh Cribbs At Running Back, Work Out Some Backs

The Cleveland Browns have a bad situation at the running back position right now. Running back Peyton Hillis has been on the mend dealing with a hamstring injury and now back up running back Montario Hardesty reportedly has a torn right calf muscle and will be out at least two weeks. Due to these injuries, the Browns have brought in a few running backs for a workout. One of the backs the Browns worked out has spent time on their practice squad, Thomas Clayton, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Clayton was active for the Browns for two games last season.

An interesting possibility for the Browns at running back is wide receiver/return man Josh Cribbs. Cribbs is kind of a utility man on the Browns, playing all over the offense. He's been an effective runner out of wildcat formations and it sounds like it's been considered in the past. "Josh can do a lot of things," said Browns head coach Pat Shurmur. "That'd be a good choice." Earlier in the season, Cribbs said not to rule him out of playing in the backfield.

I'm not sure how effective Cribbs would be running out of standard formations, but he's certainly big enough to take the pounding and isn't afraid to get hit. He knows how to hit running lanes, as evidenced by his return and yards after the catch ability. It's an interesting idea, especially given the added possibility of plays in receiving the ball out of the backfield on screens.

For more on the Cleveland Browns and their running back situation, visit SB Nation's Browns blog Dawgs by Nature.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.