Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said running back Trent Richardson will be sidelined for the entire three-day mandatory minicamp this week as he rehabilitates a strained muscle in his right shin, but Chudzinski expects Richardson to be ready for the start of training camp July 25.
“Yes, that’s my expectation,” Chudzinski said.
Chudzinski’s comments contradict a report from WKNR (850-AM) that stated Richardson will be out until August as the organization fears his injury could develop into a stress fracture. A member of the team’s public relations staff kept Richardson from addressing the media today after practice, saying he’ll speak Wednesday instead.
Richardson, who worked out on an exercise bike this morning at the start of practice, missed organized team activities the past two weeks. On May 30, Richardson said he suffered the injury while running during practice, but he downplayed the significance of it.
“We’re just holding him [out this week],” Chudzinski said today. “He could’ve went these next couple days if necessary. But we’re just being real precautionary about it. We don’t want the muscle strain to get any worse.”
When asked if Richardson’s injury could develop into a stress fracture, Chudzinski said, “I don’t know any of the medical things. He’s got a strain right now, so we don’t want it to get any worse than a strain.”
Chudzinski acknowledged “the mental part of it right now, being a new system, is probably the most important thing” Richardson is missing right now during minicamp. Still, he believes Richardson will be able to continue learning the new offense as long as he remains focused.
“He’ll be able to make it up,” Chudzinski said. “The key is that he needs to stay into it mentally. He’s getting mental reps and doing those types of things. He’s really stayed into it. I think he’s excited about this next season and his approach has been good.”
Last week, Richardson said the injury wasn't serious enough to warrant an MRI.
“Ain’t no biggie,” Richardson said May 30. “Ain’t nothing to worry about. I could be out there, but they want to be cautious about it and just make sure I’m healthy when it’s time to be right and be right for [training] camp [in late July].”
Richardson dealt with injuries all of last season. He underwent surgery Aug. 9 to remove a piece of loose cartilage from his left knee, which he also had scoped Feb. 3. He returned in time for the regular-season opener Sept. 9, even though he missed most of training camp and all four preseason games.
Then in Week 6, Richardson suffered two or three broken ribs against the Cincinnati Bengals. He played through the injury before being sidelined in the regular-season finale with a left high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 16 against the Denver Broncos.
“It’s terrible [sitting out], but I know in my mind, well, everybody knows that it’s not going to be near like last year, being hurt and injured,” Richardson said May 30. “Injury-prone is not going to be me.”
Rumblings have surfaced online and on WKNR’s airwaves about a Browns player facing a suspension. There has been speculation about wide receiver Josh Gordon possibly being the player in question.
Chudzinski was asked whether he has received word about a Browns player receiving a suspension from the NFL.
“I don’t know anything about that,” Chudzinski said.
Wide receiver David Nelson, who signed a one-year deal with the Browns in April, reported to minicamp today after rehabilitating from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and subsequent knee surgery away from the team’s facility the past few weeks.
Nelson expects to be ready for the start of training camp.
“Barring any setbacks, that’s the plan,” Nelson said. “July 26, ready to go.”
Nelson, Richardson, safety Jamoris Slaughter (Achilles), wide receiver Jordan Norwood (hamstring) and offensive tackle Chris Faulk (knee) were the only players who did not practice today. All of them were on the field doing light exercises on the sidelines.