Trent Richardson: Injury Will Not Prevent Big Game from Rookie RB

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 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

Trent Richardson should play this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. If he does, he will have a monster game.

ESPN's Stephania Bell reported that the running back is likely to be on the field for the Cleveland Browns, barring a setback:

Richardson has maintained all along that he will be ready to play this weekend. So far he seems to be making good on that promise, participating in practice, although on a limited basis, both Wednesday and Thursday.

He will likely wear additional padding to protect his injured chest and ribs, but that will not slow down the talented player.

Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal agrees, quoting coach Pat Shurmur:


#Browns HC Pat Shurmur said RB Trent Richardson (rib) is cleared to play and assumes he will play Sunday.

— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) October 19, 2012


The upcoming game features a perfect matchup for Richardson, who has found little running room throughout most of the season. He has been getting carries, but he has averaged fewer than 3.5 yards per attempt in four of six career games.

Indianapolis has struggled to defend the run all year long. The defense allows five yards per carry, fourth worst in the NFL. In addition, only the Buffalo Bills have allowed more rushing touchdowns, despite already having a bye.

Last week, Shonn Greene rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns against the struggling Colts team. The New York Jets as a whole totaled 252 yards on the ground. This is only more embarrassing considering that Greene only had 123 rushing yards in the previous four games combined.

This means that the Browns offensive line should finally be able to clear holes for the rookie as he breaks free for big yardage.

Additionally, Richardson's ability to catch balls out of the backfield—he leads the team with 22 receptions—should give him another way to beat the Colts on Sunday.

If there is space on the bench, fantasy owners could pick up Montario Hardesty just in case Richardson cannot play. However, it is more likely the starter will be ready to play and have a dominant performance. 

Start him in your fantasy lineups without hesitation.


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