Richardson watches during first day of camp
CLEVELAND – It came as no surprise that running back Trent Richardson was on a stationary bike while his Browns teammates went through day one of minicamp Tuesday.
Richardson has been nursing a strained muscle in his lower right leg. The injury happened when a teammate accidentally stepped on the foot during a practice a couple of weeks ago.
Richardson missed most of the organized team activity (OTA) practices and will be sidelined the rest of the three-day minicamp. A report on the website of radio station “WKNR” stated that the Browns fear Richardson might suffer a stress fracture with more work at this time and added that he might miss the beginning of training camp in late July.
Richardson didn’t comment to reporters as he walked off the field after practice. Coach Rob Chudzinski said that the plan is to be precautionary in dealing with the injury.
“We don’t want the muscle strain to get any worse,” Chudzinski said.
Chudzinski expects Richardson to be on the field and ready for a full slate of drills when camp opens. Losing practice time in July would be more damaging than it is now.
“The key is he has to stay into it mentally,” Chudzinski said. “He’s getting mental reps. He’s really stayed into it. I think he’s excited about next season and his approach has been good.”
CAMP CHANGE: Chudzinski will change the way training camp practices were conducted by previous coaches. Instead of getting on the field early in the morning, the players will do study work in the morning and practice in the afternoon.
“Everything is geared for being the best possible environment for the guys as possible,” Chudzinski said.
STEPPING UP: Richardson’s absence has given Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya more time with the first team offense. Hardesty, who showed promise of finally developing last season, has caught Chudzinski’s attention.
“It’s been a good opportunity for those guys,” Chudzinski said. “Montario, going back to the beginning of spring, did a great job of putting weight on. He’s picked up the offense well.
“As a runner he has the natural instincts and good vision. The thing I’ve really been most impressed about is him catching the ball. I don’t think I’ve seen him drop a pass out here.”
IT’S OUT THERE: There have been reports that a Browns player could be fined by the NFL for an off-the-field action. Chudzinski said he’s not aware of a pending suspension.
The Browns were blindsided last year by a four-game suspension levied against cornerback Joe Haden by the league for using the banned substance Adderall.
CAMPING OUT: All three quarterbacks looked sharp during practice. Brandon Weeden seems more comfortable than he did last year. He hooked up with receiver Josh Gordon on several passes. Brian Hoyer connected with Travis Benjamin on a deep pass in a middle seam Receiver Josh Cooper made a nice leaping grab of a pass from Jason Campbell. Campbell was generally on target but badly underthrew a receiver on a deep route. The ball appeared to slip out of his grip upon release and looked like a helicopter in flight First-round draft pick Barkevious Mingo showed why he could be a big addition to the pass rush as an outside linebacker. Mingo leaped high with his 6-4 frame to block a pass thrown by Campbell.