By Nate Ulrich
Beacon Journal sports writer
BEREA: After missing spring practices with a strained muscle in his right shin, Browns running back Trent Richardson reported to training camp early and has been practicing.
“Richardson has been full-go,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Monday during an interview with reporters at the team’s recently renovated headquarters. “He’s been practicing these last few days and looks good.”
Chudzinski said players who sat out practices in the spring were able to report to training camp Friday, when rookies and some veterans checked in. The Browns began their on-field work Saturday, but they won’t hold their first full-squad practice of camp until Thursday. It’ll be open to the public from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Richardson, the third overall pick in last year’s draft, suffered a strained muscle in his right shin during the second week of organized team activities in May. The injury kept him out for the rest of OTAs and the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp June 4-6, but Richardson insisted he would be ready to return to action for the start of training camp.
“I still expect to be out there Day One,” Richardson said June 5. “Coach [Chudzinski has] me out for precautionary reasons. It’s nothing that big to worry about.”
Richardson, who is expected to address the media today, spent the past several weeks training in his hometown of Pensacola, Fla., with his mentor Derrick Boyd.
“There’s been no fallout from whatever people were freaking about — shin splints or whatever it was,” Boyd, who coached Richardson in track and football at Escambia High School, told the Beacon Journal last week in a phone interview. “He’s been looking great. He’s being riding the bike, doing aquatics, the elliptical, running on the ground. The last week or so we’ve been doing more fast-twitch type things, the first 20 yards. We want to make sure when training camp starts he has that burst.”
Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, who also reported to camp Friday, indicated that Richardson is ready to roll.
“Trent looks good,” Weeden said. “He looks quick. He’s moving around great. He’s in good shape.”
Last year, Richardson endured an injury-plagued rookie season in which he played all but one regular-season game after undergoing knee surgery Aug. 9 and suffering broken ribs Oct. 14. He missed the season finale with a left high-ankle sprain.
He finished the season with 267 carries for 950 yards (3.6 average) and 11 touchdowns to go along with 51 catches for 367 yards and one touchdown.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/browns.abj.