One week after providing career-highs for Montario Hardesty, the Cleveland Browns believe that starting running back Peyton Hillis will join the team for their Week 8 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Hillis missed his second game this season after sustaining a hamstring injury during the team’s Week 6 loss in Oakland. In his place, Hardesty ran the ball 33 times for 95 yards, and caught two passes for 27 yards as the Browns topped the Seattle Seahawks to the tune of 6-3. In turn, the Browns added running back Chris Ogbonnaya to provide depth with the former Texas product responding with 15 yards on the ground (three attempts) while leading the team in receiving (five catches for 43 yards), potentially leading to a role in third-down situations.
On the season, Hillis has largely disappointed within the box score with his best game coming during the team’s Week 2 win against the Indianapolis Colts. Surrounded by the much-discussed drama (Madden covers, alleged free agency, etc), Hillis has the support of his head coach as Pat Shurmur told the media on Wednesday that the team is confident that their “starter” can filter out the negativity and focus on the task at hand.
Also rejoining the Browns is linebacker and defensive team captain Scott Fujita who also missed Sunday’s win. Suffering a concussion in Oakland, Fujita was replaced by linebacker Kaluka Maiava within a starting lineup that limited the Seahawks to a mere 17 minutes of offense.
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)