Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nothing more than a blip?
Well that was quick.

Just when Browns fans were in a can’t-wait-for-the-exhibition-season-to-begin mode, bad news hits them like a sledgehammer.

The Browns announced Tuesday that rookie running back Trent Richardson’s left knee is sore and he might miss Friday night’s exhibition opener in Detroit against the Lions.

Great. The club’s top draft choice and the guy many expect to be a major factor in the club’s offensive comeback this season lands on the injury chart.

This might be nothing more than an overreaction, but for once, I’d like to see this team experience some good luck. Why couldn’t a third-string defensive back go down? Or someone who has as much chance of making the club as you and I.

Why the biggest name, the guy who has a chance to become the face of the franchise? The one player who can really make a difference.

On the brighter side, perhaps this might be nothing more than a cautionary move. Let’s err on the side of being certain it’s nothing more than soreness related to his arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus six months ago.

A pessimist might think this is just the beginning, the tip of the injury iceberg for Richardson. Next up will be the meniscus on his other knee. Then an ACL or MCL or both. Look what happened to Montario Hardesty.

An optimist would think it’s better to make certain Richardson is perfectly healthy for the season opener rather than risk further injury during the exhibition season.

When it comes to a player like Richardson, who arrives in the National Football League with more fanfare than any running back since Adrian Peterson, fans almost froth at what he could accomplish if he stays healthy.

Running backs take more pounding than any other player on offense. It’s not unreasonable for the Browns to make certain he is as close to 100% as possible for the 16-game grind.

For a player who has the reputation of being a terrific runner, above-average receiver out of the backfield and a devastating blocker, he needs to be on the field for every one of those games.

Yes, I know other clubs suffer as a result of injuries to key players. It just seems as though it happens more to the Browns than other clubs. Some fans will lament that someone up there doesn’t like their favorite football team.

Hopefully, it’s nothing more than scar-tissue adhesions providing the soreness and Richardson will be ready to strut before the schedule for games that mean nothing ends.

It looks as though the fans will have to wait a little longer to see the kid. Which, when you stop and think about it, might not be so bad. Good things await those who wait. And what Richardson can deliver is one of those good things definitely worth waiting for.

As long as nothing more serious happens to the rookie between now and the Sept. 9 season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Stadium, this latest little blip on the radar will be just that – a little blip.

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