Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis was sent home from practice Friday with an illness (which was later revealed to be strep throat). Head coach Pat Shurmur indicated that he believes Hillis will play against the Miami Dolphins. " I think he just wasn’t feeling well and to give him the best opportunity to get as much rest and fluids as we could," stated Shurmur.
The absence on Friday allowed backup running back Montario Hardesty to take reps with the first-team offense, which is something positive Shurmur takes away from the situation. "It was good for Montario to get with the one’s in most of the reps today," said Shurmur. "That’ll help push him along and get him ready to play."
Even if Hillis had not had an illness, the workload he received last week against the Colts wasn't ideal. It's fine to give Hillis the ball nearly 30 times in a huge game if the tempo is right, but we had Hardesty on the bench until the fourth quarter. When Hardesty wasn't given reps in the fourth quarter, they were ill-timed. Shurmur says the team will try to be better about including Hardesty in the flow of the game earlier this week. "I’d like to see him play early in the game so where that ends up being, it would definitely mean the first half and probably the first quarter," said Shurmur.