At this point in the NFL season most of the training camp battles do not involve any of the teams No. 1 options, most players are fighting it out for No. 2 roster spots. Such is the case for the Cleveland Browns. It was probably decided in late April that the Browns would be moving on from struggling QB Colt McCoy, although there was said to be a battle in training camp McCoy publicly stated that there never was one, and he received nearly none of the first team reps in practice.
The starting running back spot has already been handed out, it was handed out on April 26th, 2012, in the first round. Barring any unforeseen injuries going forward Trent Richardson will be the Browns workhorse back for years to come. Richardson steps into a role that will be key for a very young Browns team. Although starting QB Brandon Weeden is 28 years old he is still a rookie in the NFL, and no prior experience can fully prepare you for that.
The biggest position battle heading into the Browns regular season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles is the backup RB spot.Montario Hardesty was seen as the favorite heading into camp but the newest rumor out of the Browns camp is that Brandon Jackson has had a very strong last couple of weeks and is now making a strong push for the No. 2 RB spot. Jackson’s emergence is huge for the Browns simply because they are still not 100% sure that Richardson will be able to go on Sunday.
Richardson rode a stationary bike on the Browns practice field Saturday as part of his rehabilitation process caused by the surgery to repair a piece of loose cartilage he had removed. Browns head coach Pat Shurmur said Richardson is, “very close” to practicing for the first time in nearly four weeks. This latest news on Richardson is another reason the battle for the No. 2 RB spot is becoming more and more important by the day. If Richardson cannot go on Saturday the Browns may in fact turn to Brandon Jackson.
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