Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson wore a sleeve on his left leg as he worked out on an exercise bike this afternoon at the beginning of practice.
It was Richardson’s first appearance on the practice field since Aug. 7, two days before he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. As the open portion of practice closed to the media, Richardson and the team’s other injured players gathered to watch their teammates run plays.
Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Richardson is "very close" to practicing and he’s “very optimistic” Richardson will be ready for the Browns’ Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Shurmur said Richardson has been running.
"If he plays, he will be ready to go and play the whole game," Shurmur said. "How we use him, of course, we've just gotta be smart."
Browns General Manager Tom Heckert said he's not concerned about Richardson missing most of training camp and the preseason.
"This kid is a little different cat now," Heckert said. "I think he’s ready to go pretty quick compared to some guys I’ve been around. Shape-wise, you do not have to worry about that at all. He’ll be able to do that. In a perfect world [would he have been practicing?]. Yeah, but I don’t think it’s really a big deal. ... He's been working out and has had no setbacks whatsoever. He's doing well."
In addition to Richardson, offensive tackle Oniel Cousins, strong safety Ray Ventrone, cornerback Dimitri Patterson, running back Chris Ogbonnaya, tight end Jordan Cameron and defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who’s on the physically unable to perform list, worked out on stationary bikes or engaged in other forms of light exercise.
Rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson, who suffered an oblique injury Thursday in the preseason finale against the Chicago Bears, and offensive lineman John Greco did not practice.
Tight end Benjamin Watson returned to practice after missing most of training camp and all four preseason games with an undisclosed injury.
After cutting their roster to 53 players Friday, the Browns also made some more moves today.