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Montario Hardesty Not Demoted, According To Pat Shurmur

Coach Pat Shurmur reaffirmed that Montario Hardesty will be the Browns' starting running back, responding to rumors that the second-year back had been replaced.

Hardesty was held out of team drills on Sunday, but Shurmur said that it was so that he could rest following Friday's game against the Eagles. During individual drills, the former Tennessee back wore a sleeve on his right calf, which he injured last season.

It is still unknown whether first round pick Trent Richardson will return in time for the season opener, so for now, Hardesty remains the starter. What may prevent Hardesty from being the Week 1 starter, injuries aside, is Hardesty's recent fumble tendency. He has coughed two up already this preseason, and his coaches are not pleased. Last season, Hardesty did not lose a single fumble.

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