INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been a long time since Trent Richardson was taken out of a game because he was not effective.
But Richardson is a Cleveland Brown now — and, as he’s learning, interesting things seem to happen with the Cleveland Browns.
Richardson started Sunday’s 17-13 loss to the Colts despite a cartilage injury in his ribs. He wore a special pad, but in eight carries gained just eight yards.
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At halftime, the Browns told Richardson he was sitting.
“We didn’t feel like he was as effective as he’s been and he was battling through it,” Shurmur said. “He wanted to play, all that business. There’s no new injury.”
There was logic to the move. Richardson seemed tentative.
“He just, in my opinion, the way the game was going, wasn’t quite effective,” Shurmur said.
Running with any rib injury is tough, because any hit might cause pain. But Richardson hates to leave any games.
He said he didn’t “call the shot.”
“I guess coach didn’t feel like I was as active as I usually (am),”
Richardson said. “That’s something I got to swallow. The injury I have is much bigger than folks think it is and I don’t want to do anything to hurt the team.”
Which might indicate that Richardson is more seriously injured than anyone knows — though league rules dictate how teams reveal injuries.
But that’s tough to tell the way Richardson talks. He said it was not his decision to leave the game, but he said Shurmur made a “great” decision. He also said the most he felt in practice during the week was “a little soreness” that he fought through.
Then why is the injury worse than people think?
“Because I’m not myself out there right now,” Richardson said. “If you look at me I guess I was not running hard like I used to. So I’m not out there right now. It’s worse than what people think it is.”
Was it the right decision to replace him with Montario Hardesty (seven carries, 28 yards)?
“That’s something you got to ask Pat,” Richardson said. “For me, I feel like I should be in the game. But that’s any athlete. That’s anybody wants to play. Anybody who’s got that fight in him and is a competitor. … I feel like you got to deal with me the whole four quarters. I didn’t play the whole four quarters. I got shut down pretty early.”
Shurmur said part of Richardson’s struggles was the Colts approach. Indianapolis sold out to stop the run, bringing an extra player into the box.
“They were legislating against the run,” Shurmur said.
So he threw. A lot. The Browns had 41 passes and 17 runs.
End result: The Browns gained 55 yards rushing against the league’s 29th-ranked rushing defense.
The Colts — the league’s 26th-ranked rushing offense — ran for 148 yards and two Luck scrambles for scores against the Browns.
“I felt like I was doing better than I heard I was doing,” Richardson said.
“But like I said I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the team.”