BEREA – The bad news won’t stop for injury-prone running back Montario Hardesty.
Coach Rob Chudzinski announced today that Hardesty will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday. Chudzinski didn’t have a timetable for recovery, but a scope usually sidelines a player for about a month.
Chudzinski didn’t say which knee was bothering Hardesty, but he’s had the anterior cruciate ligament repaired in both knees – the right as a freshman at Tennessee and the left as a rookie in 2010.
Hardesty missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, then returned to team drills Monday only to dislocate his right thumb catching a high snap.
The revelation of the knee issue was a surprise and Chudzinski said it was unrelated to the hamstring.
“The knee had been nagging him,” Chudzinski said.
Hardesty’s roster spot was in jeopardy before the scope. During his time on the stationary bike, Dion Lewis and Brandon Jackson had performed well and may have moved past him on the depth chart as backups to Trent Richardson.
Hardesty will miss the whole preseason and likely won’t be ready for the opener Sept. 8. The Browns could keep him on the active roster, waive him, put him on short-term injured reserve or season-ending injured reserve.
He has been limited to 23 games and 537 rushing yards in three years with the Browns. He was a second-round draft choice.
** Undrafted rookie offensive lineman Chris Faulk recently had arthroscopic surgery on the knee in which he had suffered a torn ACL at LSU. He has yet to practice with the Browns.
** Chudzinski said strong safety T.J. Ward (hamstring) likely won’t play Thursday against the Lions in the second preseason game. Ward has been limited in team drills this week.
“There’s nothing wrong,” Chudzinski said. “We just want to be smart about it.”
** Rookie cornerback Leon McFadden (groin) returned to practice in individual drills but isn’t expected to play Thursday.
** Cornerback Chris Owens (arch) lined up with the first-team defense and will play Thursday. He is competing for the starting spot with Buster Skrine.
** Punter T.J. Conley has a slight groin strain and didn’t practice. He’ll be a gametime decision, as he battles Spencer Lanning for the job.
** Receiver Jordan Norwood (hamstring) missed practice and is unlikely to play.