BEREA – Coach Pat Shurmur said this morning running back Montario Hardesty has not been demoted and remains the starter with rookie Trent Richardson sidelined following knee surgery.
Hardesty participated in individual drills Sunday but was held out of team drills, leading to questions about his place on the depth chart.
“He was just sore from the game,” Shurmur said. “He’s fine.”
Hardesty wore a sleeve on his right calf, which caused him to miss time in 2011. After practice Hardesty said he was fine and just given a partial day of rest.
While Shurmur said Hardesty hasn’t been demoted, he reiterated he’s upset with Hardesty’s two fumbles in the last two games.
Brandon Jackson took the snaps with the first-team offense Sunday.
The Browns will practice today at 1 p.m.
The Browns must trim five players from the roster by 4 p.m. Shurmur said the announcement will be made following practice.
The Browns could place linebacker Chris Gocong (Achilles) on season-ending injured reserve and defensive tackle Phil Taylor (pectoral) on the physically unable to perform list, reducing the number of players that need to be cut. If placed on PUP, Taylor would have to miss at least the first six games.
The roster must be cut to 53 by Friday at 9 p.m.
** Shurmur said nickelback Dimitri Patterson (ankle) is making “great progress. I’m happy how quickly he’s feeling less sore.”
** Shurmur complimented rookie defensive tackle Billy Winn, who had two tackles Friday against the Eagles, one for loss.
“He plays fast,” Shurmur said. “And he finds a way to free himself up.”
Winn started against the Eagles and worked with the first team Sunday. Shurmur said Winn and fellow rookie John Hughes will be part of a rotation at Taylor’s spot next to Ahtyba Rubin.
** Unheralded safety David Sims has made an impression on the coaching staff. He has two interceptions in the preseason, one for a touchdown, and had another pick-six called back by a penalty.
Shurmur said a player in Sims’ position must show the coaches he can play on defense and special teams.
“He’s caught our eyes both ways,” he said.
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