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Nobody thought this game would be an easy one for Browns' rushers given the 49ers sold run defense and the fact that Peyton Hillis was held out of action once again due to his hamstring issues, but after Montario Hardesty's nice game against Seattle, we also didn't envision things turning out quite as badly as they did.
Hardesty struggled immensely, gaining just six yards on two carries, and then in a twist that came as little surprise for anyone who knows his injury history, he hurt himself yet again.
That forced the Browns to go almost solely to Chris Ogbonnaya on handoffs, which went about as well as you would expect for a guy who was on a practice squad just two weeks ago. Ogbonnaya managed just 37 yards on 11 carries, and the Browns rushers as a group posted just 66 total yards on the day.
You can't really blame Ogbonnaya for this; as a third-string RB, he can hardly be expected to to bust out an 80-plus yard game.
The problem is more that the Browns failed to account for their lack of depth at the position way back before the season started when they could have done something about it, and now, it's coming back to bite them.
To be fair, no one had any way of knowing that Hillis would be hurt. But it was a safe assumption that Hardesty would be, and that meant that they were going purely on the assumption that Hillis would be able to shoulder 100 percent of the load for 100 percent of the season.
Even if he hadn't been hurt, that's a lot to ask of one guy. And as we've discussed many times in the past, another season of that, and he'd be too banged up to play within just a few years.
There isn't much that can be done about this issue now (save for praying for Hillis to recover completely within the week), but the Browns need to be more serious about adding some depth at RB this upcoming offseason if they don't want to land themselves up a creek without a running back again in 2012.