By Will Burge | ESPNCleveland.com
Browns running back Trent Richardson was expected to miss mini-camp with a lower leg strain. What no one expected was for Richardson to be out of action until August.
A source very close to Richardson told ESPN Cleveland on Saturday that the team had informed the running back he will be held out of action until August. With training camp expected to begin during the last week of July, this would mean Richardson will miss at least a portion of camp.
Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski feels differently. When asked if he expects Richardson to be ready for the start of camp Chudzinski replied, “Yes, that’s my expectation.”
The source explained that the team is being “ultra-cautious” with Richardson’s injury because they are worried it could develop into a stress fracture. The source cited Kevin Ware, the basketball player from Louisville whose leg snapped on a seemingly routine play, as the worst case scenario that this injury could develop into.
“He could have (practiced) these next couple of days if necessary but we are just being real precautionary about it. We don’t want the muscle strain to get any worse,” said Chudzinski. “I don’t know any of the medical things it would or could. He’s got a strain right now so we don’t want it to get any worse than a strain.”
Richardson maintained last week during OTAs that he could participate in mini-camp and OTAs if the team would allow him and pointed to the fact that he was on the stationary bikes during the portion open to the media. One source told ESPN Cleveland, however, that there were days Richardson wasn’t even allowed “off the (trainers) table.”
“He’ll be able to make it up,” said Chudzinksi. “The key is that he needs to stay into it mentally and you’re seeing him getting mental reps and getting those types of things. He’s really stayed into it.”
The source close to Richardson also said that he has been taking medication for migraines. The source said the migraine medication combined with not being able to do a full weight lifting program has also caused Richardson to lose weight over the past two weeks.
Chudzinksi said they are not concerned about Richardson losing weight and strength and that most of that comes later in the preseason.
“The mental part of it right now being a new system is probably the most important thing and then just getting into game shape,” said Chudzinski. “Some of that happens as you get into preseason games and guys are out there play after play after play. There is nothing like game shape.”
If the Browns are being “ultra-cautious” with Richardson’s injury it is conceivable that he could be held out until after the Browns’ first preseason game on August 8th against St. Louis. It is also conceivable that he could beat the original “August” prognosis by a week and be ready for the start of camp late July.
Either way, this is not doing much to help the notion that Richardson is “injury prone.”
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
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