What Does Trent Richardson's Injury Mean for Browns, Fantasy Owners?

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystOctober 14, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 14: Running back Trent Richardson #33 of the Cleveland Browns runs for a gain against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 14, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns got their first victory of the 2012 season on Sunday, but as is usually the case in Cleveland, even the enthusiasm of a victory was tempered by an injury to the player on offense that the Browns can least afford to lose.

Rookie running back Trent Richardson, who had been one of the few bright spots for the winless Browns entering Sunday's tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals, was forced from the game in the second half due to what was described as a "flank injury," which is a fancy way of saying that he had swelling in his abdomen.

The third overall pick in last April's NFL draft will no doubt be subjected to a battery of tests, including an MRI, on Monday, but early indications are that the injury wasn't serious, at least if the comments made by Richardson to Nate Ulrich of The Akron Beacon Journal are any indication.

#Browns RB Trent Richardson on right side/ribs injury: "I took a shot but I'll be back. I'll be ready for next week." #NFL

— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) October 14, 2012

That's certainly good news for both the Cleveland Browns and Richardson's fantasy owners, although it may be in the latter's best interest to secure an insurance policy for a Richardson absence just in case.

The in-house alternative would be third-year pro Montario Hardesty, who picked up 56 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown in relief of Richardson, and with a matchup on tap against an Indianapolis Colts team that just made Shonn Greene look like Jim Brown, Hardesty will probably be a hot commodity on fantasy waiver wires this week.