Montario Hardesty was one of the most anticipated Cleveland Browns players to enter the 2010-11 pre-season but was taken out of action early as as torn ligaments in his knee ended his season and threatened his career. Now, Hardesty is plotting an NFL comeback and is aiming to return to the Browns as early as August of this year.
Hardesty’s injury not only ruined the former Tennessee Volunteer’s rookie season, but completely derailed the Browns’ offensive plans heading into 2010. Peyton Hillis quickly molded into the starting runningback. However, Cleveland still struggled to find a consistent backup option and even traded Jerome Harrison due to his lack of performance early in the season.
If Hardesty can return to action in 2011, his talents may be utilized very well with Cleveland. The Browns would likely use Hardesty as a change-of-pace runner that should go against Hillis’ pounding style and force the defense to be quicker on their feet. Hardesty could also be used as a decoy in pass patterns or a potential runner in flash formations.
According to Pat Shurmur (Via ESPN), Hardesty’s injury seems to be coming along nicely and he should be ready for camp this fall. Cleveland will like use Hardesty on a very limited basis for the first couple weeks in order to help him regain his legs and build up the strength needed to compete for an entire season.