CLEVELAND - It wasn't quite as dramatic as the announcement of the birth of the royal baby, but news that Trent Richardson will play in a preseason game Thursday is big for Browns fans.
Coach Rob Chudzinski said after Tuesday's practice that the second-year running back will start when the Browns host the Detroit Lions at First Energy Stadium. Richardson sat out last week's game against the St. Louis Rams to rest a sore shin. He's expected to play a couple of series.
Richardson seemed surprised when asked his reaction to the news. A day earlier he talked with anxious anticipation about the opportunity to play in his first-ever preseason game he missed all four last year and the opener this season.
"I can't wait," Richardson said. "I can't wait until September."
The Browns have been extremely careful with Richardson for obvious reasons his value to the offense is as great as quarterback Brandon Weeden's. Because Richardson missed most of training camp in 2012 recovering from a second knee surgery within one year and played most of the season with two cracked ribs, he's considered precious cargo that has to be treated with kid gloves.
Perhaps the Browns are going overboard in their protective stance. Countless repetitions are fine in practices, but nothing compares to time on the field in an actual game.
"I really don't know what to say to that because I don't know how you can be too careful with somebody," Richardson said. "Coach knows the best decision for me.
"I'm 100 percent now with coach and believe in everything you're doing. He is taking his time. I do want to be out there all the time. I am a competitor. I'll let coach do what he does."
A LEG UP: Rookie kicker Brandon Bogotay will handle all kicking chores against the Lions. Chudzinski wouldn't say if that means Shayne Graham will do the same the following week against the Colts.
"We'll get a chance to see him perform in situations where he has to kick multiple times," Chudzinski said.
EASY GOING: Weeden recently played a round of golf with PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner, who lists his hometown as Olmsted Falls. Dufner shot 63 and Weeden finished with 78.
"Sometimes I don't know if he has a pulse," Weeden said. "He has to be the most laidback guy in sports."
LAST DAY: Tuesday was the final day fans could watch practices. Chudzinski, who remembers attending training camp when it was held at Lakeland Community College, interacted well with the fans.
"It was great having them here," Chudzinski said. "The turnouts were awesome, even some of the days you wouldn't expect a lot of people to be here. It tells you a lot about these fans and how they feel about this team."
CAMPING OUT: Running back Montario Hardesty was diagnosed with a broken right thumb. The injury occurred while he took a high direct snap Monday. Hardesty took part in individual drills. He declined to talk to reporters after practice. Receiver Greg Little has had a solid camp. He caught a deep throw from Weeden, beating the coverage of Abdul Kennah. Receiver Josh Cooper probably faces longs odds to make the final roster, but he continues to stand out. He worked with Brian Hoyer for a big gain. Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson returned after taking Monday off.