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Shurmur: RB Montario Hardesty Could Return Next Week

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The biggest mystery of Cleveland Browns training camp thus far? It could be, "what is going on with Montario Hardesty?" We thought he was fine, but the coaching staff has held him out of all contact drills, and he's really not even doing anything besides standing on the sidelines. Some have speculated that Hardesty is hurt again and the team is hiding something, but the second-year running back and head coach Pat Shurmur are saying otherwise.

When asked about when Hardesty will see the field with the rest of the players, Shurmur said, "We're hoping to get him out there next week at some point."

By "next week," I would assume that to mean the week of August 7-13. The Browns are off Sunday, but will practice in full pads Monday through Thursday. They are off Friday and then take on the Green Bay Packers on August 13.

When Hardesty was asked about his condition, he said, "No, I'm fine. (Fans) will see me back in practice. They'll see me back in games. I'm just going with the plan.''

What was the purpose of keeping him out of drills up to this point?

"They want to make sure I get my legs up under me before they throw me back out there,'' he said. "With the lockout, they didn't get to see me for four or five months. They want to make sure everything's good when I get back on the field.''

Sounds good to me. We're fine with Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jackson right now, and we've got two other backs in camp. If they want to be cautious with easing Hardesty back into things, I'm fine with that.