INDIANAPOLIS — Browns running back Trent Richardson admitted that his injured ribs are “worse than people think,” but also made it clear he was capable of playing more Sunday afternoon.
Richardson was limited to 8 rushing yards on eight carries and two receptions during Cleveland’s 17-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts — coming out of the game for good with 4:17 left in the second quarter.
“That’s something you gotta ask (coach) Pat (Shurmur) about, but to me, I feel like I should have been in the game,” the third overall pick in the NFL Draft said. “In my mind, I feel like I’m always good to go. I didn’t call the shot. They just told me to stay ready and keep my lungs moving.”
Richardson did what he was told, but didn’t get on the field in the second half as Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya split snaps in the backfield. As a team, the Browns rushed for 55 yards with an average of just 3.2 yards per attempt.
“Trent just, in my opinion, the way the game was going wasn’t quite effective,” Shurmur said. “He wanted to play, but there was no new injury or anything like that. He’s moving forward, and I don’t think today contributed to any setbacks.”
Richardson suffered torn rib cartilage one week earlier when he took a helmet to the right side against Cincinnati. He returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday and declared himself ready to play in Indianapolis.
After questioning Shurmur’s judgment early in his postgame interview session, the All-American from Alabama changed his tune, perhaps because of the two team public relations staffers standing within arm’s length.
“I think coach made the right decision, and he had to do what he thought was right for the team,” he said. “I’m not myself out there right now. Look at me, I’m not running like I used to. I’m not healthy right now.”
Despite seeing limited action against the Bengals and Colts, Richardson still leads the Browns with 348 rushing yards, 24 receptions, five touchdowns, and 545 yards from scrimmage. The prized rookie also is the only Cleveland player to score on the ground and through the air.
“Trent is our go-to back, but he’s not 100 percent,” Browns tackle Joe Thomas said. “Maybe you’re not going to call the plays you had designed for him in there. It does kind of change things a little bit.”
- Cleveland tied its franchise record with its 11th straight road loss, dating back to Oct. 16, 2011. Its other 11-game skid came from Dec. 7, 1974 to Sept. 26, 1976 under coaches Nick Skorich and Forrest Gregg. In two seasons, Shurmur is 1-11 in away games and 5-18 overall. “I don’t think there is anything different where you play,” Shurmur said. “You’ve just got to find a way to win on the road.”
- Wide receiver Greg Little had a team-high six receptions for 52 yards, including a highlight-reel worthy, 14-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. The second-year pro leapt high to grab a throw from Brandon Weeden in the back of the end zone, then deftly dragged a knee and shin on the ground before sliding out of bounds. “I jumped prematurely and the ball hit my fingertips, but I was able to bring it down to me,” he said. “I knew I was getting the ball, so I had to catch it.” Making his effort even more impressive, Little was limited in practice all week because of an illness. “I had a fever and was sweating through my sheets, which was kind of gross because you could wring them out,” he said. “I felt terrible, but I had it made up in my mind that I was going to play no matter what.” l Weeden continued to put up prolific numbers, going 25-of-41 for 264 yards, two touchdowns, and a 96.0 passer rating. His other scoring toss was a 33-yarder to rookie Josh Gordon. Ironically, Weeden’s yardage totals would have been higher had he not taken a lateral on the final play of the game. After completing a pass to Joshua Cribbs, Weeden got the ball back five exchanges later, losing 9 yards before fumbling. According to NFL statistical rules, the rookie quarterback was awarded zero receptions for minus-9 yards, which also came off his passing yard total.
Out of action
- The Browns did not dress guard Jason Pinkston (blood clots in lungs), wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), linebacker Scott Fujita (shoulder, neck), safety Tashaun Gipson, running back Brandon Jackson, and tight end Alex Smith. Left guard John Greco started for Pinkston, while wide receiver Josh Gordon filled in for Massaquoi. “Joe (Thomas) made a comment in the huddle, ‘Let’s go get this one for Pink,’” Weeden said. “We’re going to miss him because he’s not only a great player, but a great person. This is a bad, bad deal, but he’ll fight through it because he’s a strong kid.” Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin exited with a calf injury early in the first quarter, while cornerback Sheldon Brown twisted an ankle in the third, but quickly returned. According to CBS reporter Jason LaCanfora, Fujita’s career could be over as a result of recurring neck stingers, but he is seeking additional medical opinions.
- The Colts’ inactives were linebacker Robert Mathis (knee), running back Donald Brown (knee), cornerback Darius Butler (shoulder), nose tackle Martin Tevaseu (ankle), guard Joe Reitz (knee), and defensive ends Cory Redding (knee) and Fili Moala (knee). Tackle Winston Justice (ankle) was injured midway through the fourth.
Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano is on indefinite medical leave after being diagnosed with leukemia during the team’s Week 4 bye. The Colts have already raised more than $125,000 for leukemia research through the sale of “Chuckstrong” T-shirts, which are available at www.coltsproshop.com.
Interim coach Bruce Arians — a former Browns and Steelers offensive coordinator — is 2-1 and shared some great news in the locker room.
“Coach Pagano celebrated this win at home,” Arians said. “That’s probably as big as the win today. He’s just been released to his house, and he’s no longer in a hospital room, so treatments will go on from there.”
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who passed for 186 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, echoed those thoughts.
“I’m thrilled to hear about that about Coach Pagano, more thrilled about that than the win,” the top overall draft pick said.
- A sellout crowd of 64,560 was in attendance at Lucas Oil Stadium, which had its retractable roof and giant picture window both open. The kickoff conditions were 60 degrees on the field and 55 degrees outside the stadium under sunny skies.
- The Colts wore their traditional blue home tops and white pants, while the Browns were in all-white uniforms. Indianapolis mascot Blue, a smiling horse, had his fur dyed pink for the game to promote breast cancer awareness.
- Cleveland leads the all-time series 16-15, including a 9-6 edge at Indianapolis/Baltimore. The Browns are
1-1 at Lucas Oil Stadium after going 3-4 at the RCA Dome and 5-1 at Memorial Stadium.
- New Browns president Joe Banner will make the final call on potential transactions before the NFL trade deadline on Oct. 30, according to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.