INDIANAPOLIS – Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson is active and expected to start this afternoon against the Colts. The game begins at 1 p.m.
Richardson injured rib cartilage in the first series last Sunday in a 34-24 win over the Bengals. He was in and out of the lineup, then left for good midway through the third quarter.
He was limited in practice this week and will wear a flak jacket for protection. Contact is restricted in practice, so the big test for Richardson today will be dealing with shots to the area and the amount of pain he can tolerate.
If Richardson is limited, Montario Hardesty will get the carries. After no carries in the first five games, he rushed 15 times for 56 yards and his first career touchdown last week.
Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin will return to the starting lineup after missing the Bengals game with a calf injury, which snapped his streak of 41 straight starts.
The Browns chose to deactivate tight end Alex Smith in the only surprise move of the morning. He opened the season as the No. 2 tight end, but sustained a concussion in Week 2 and missed three weeks. He returned last week but played only three snaps on offense. Smith practiced all this week and wasn’t listed on the injury report.
Jordan Cameron is the No. 2 tight end behind starter Benjamin Watson.
Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) will miss his fourth straight game and be replaced by rookie Josh Gordon, who has three touchdowns in the last two games.
The other inactives are: left guard Jason Pinkston (blood clot), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), running back Brandon Jackson (coaches’ decision), safety Tashaun Gipson (knee) and linebacker Scott Fujita (neck/shoulder).
Pinkston was hospitalized Thursday after leaving the game Sunday. He is expected to miss the rest of the season with a clot in his lung, but tweeted a picture of himself in a Browns sweatshirt in his hospital bed. John Greco will replace him.
Rookie James-Michael Johnson will start for Fujita.
The roof is open at Lucal Oil Stadium on a beautiful day.
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