The NFL Network’s Albert Breer has tweeted that the Cleveland Browns will start rookie running back Trent Richardson today against the Philadelphia Eagles. He also noted that linebacker Scott Fujita, who had his bounty-related suspension lifted, “is unlikely to play”.
Richardson underwent a knee scope on the 9th of August and practiced in full pads on Thursday for the first time. Browns head coach Pat Shurmur confirmed that he expected the No. 3 overall pick to start due to his ability to practice on Thursday.
Even though Richardson will be starting, his workload will be decreased as they ease him into it. Brandon Jackson will likely be getting third-down carries, but Richardson should be able to get about 15 carries. However, I would be surprised to see him receive 20 carries; 15 is the likely amount.
He should be good to go against the Eagles, as Richardson stated earlier this week that only Shurmur could keep him out of this game. Shurmur has been pleased with Richardon’s progression, as there were no noted setbacks. The optimism surrounding Richardson’s ability to perform in today’s game has risen with each day of this past week (basically, each practice he has been in) culminating in today’s tweet from Breer stating that Richardson will start.
My projection for Richardson: 15 carries, 65 yards, 75% chance of a touchdown
As for Fujita, the news that the strong-side linebacker will most likely not play is in line with tweets and articles surrounding the Browns from other media sources. He has been very limited in practice since injuring his leg in the team’s preseason opener, so it comes as no surprise that rookie L.J. Fort will be starting in Fujita’s stead. Even though his three-game suspension was overturned, he won’t be able to help the Browns defense contain superstar running back LeSean McCoy.
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