First, it was a hamstring injury. Then it was a thumb. Now, it's his knee.
After Wednesday's practice in Berea, Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski told reporters that running back Montario Hardesty will be going to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Thursday. "His knee’s been nagging him for a little bit," said Chudzinski, who stated that this was not related to the previous injuries that have kept him out of camp.
The surgery is expected to keep Hardesty out of action for at least 2-3 weeks, which is the rest of the preseason. The Browns allowed Trent Richardson to miss training camp and play right away in the regular season last year, but Hardesty might not get that same luxury. He has already missed the majority of camp, while backup running back Dion Lewis has looked very good.
On top of that, a source tells Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer that Hardesty could actually miss the first 2-3 games of the regular season. The Browns would not be able to place Hardesty on the PUP, so it'll be interesting to see if they release him after the final preseason game. They could also place him on injured reserve, but this is the final year of his contract; there's really no incentive in doing that. Things aren't looking good for Hardesty's future in a Browns uniform.
Chudzinski also revealed that undrafted rookie free agent offensive tackle Chris Faulk had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday. Faulk has missed all of the offseason programs and training camp. Unlike Hardesty, Faulk is a fairly obvious candidate to land on injured reserve so the team can stash him away for a season while he gets ready to compete in training camp in 2014.