With the disappointing news of Cleveland Browns running back Brandon Jackson's injury potentially sidelining him for the season, the Browns are in a serious situation.
Jackson was expected to take some carries away from Peyton Hillis in order to keep him fresh, as well as help the Browns transition into the West Coast Offense go smoother.
Yet, where the Browns stand is not encouraging. Jackson is out and Montario Hardesty is nothing to rely on this point. He may have passed the test in Week 3 of the preseason, but that does not mean he is ready for a serious role that comes with serious playing time.
Undrafted rookie free agent Armond Smith may be considered a candidate considering his speed and decent free agent, but then considering his three fumbles in only two quarters of play in the last two preseason games, one would hope he doesn't get the job.
As of now, Hillis may be the workhorse in Cleveland yet again this season and the Browns do not want this. Too many times did Hillis come up limping or get worn down during games last season. They need to do something, even if it is short-term.
With a thin free agent class of running backs to choose from at the moment, the Browns should consider recently reinstated running back Tiki Barber.
Many find it humorous that Tiki is trying to make a comeback considering he has been out of football for over four years, but when you actually think about it, it makes sense.
1. The Browns Need a Stop-Gap
Jackson is out and Hardesty cannot be risked at the moment unless he proves something else otherwise in Week 4 of the preseason.
Barber fits that role just fine. No explanation needed.
2. The Stop-Gap Needs To Be a Complimentary Back Capable of Catching Passes in the Browns New Offense
In his 10-year career from the backfield, the 5'10", 205-pound Barber ran for 10,449 yards. That is over 1,000 per season which is extremely impressive. He also had 56 career rushing touchdowns.
In the matter of receiving the ball, Tiki amassed 586 receptions for 5,183 yards and 12 touchdowns. Per season, that is just over 58 receptions, just over 518 yards and just over one touchdown.
He obviously has the credentials. Assuming a limited role could be extremely beneficial to the production of Tiki.
3. The Browns Need a Cheap Option
With no offers coming Tiki's way at the moment, he would probably sign for whatever he could get. Wanting to make more money, however, Tiki would preferably want a deal with many incentives. If he were to pan out, why not pay the man, right?
4. Tiki Is An Extremely Talented and Seasoned Veteran Who Wants This BADLY!!!
With his experience and knowledge of the game, Tiki could be a coach as well as a player. He could probably teach Hillis a thing or two.
On top of this, you know he will work his tail of in order to not be the butt of some jokes in the NFL.
NFL running backs usually fizzle out around 28 through 30 years or age. Tiki is currently 36, but for all we know the time away from football has done him wonders.
An insurance policy. Cheap. Full of knowledge. No strings attached. Low risk, high reward.
This seems like a great idea for Cleveland.