Down Goes Hillis

By Will Burge

A hand off to the right side of the line is such a simple play. It happens 25 times in every viewable portion of practice. 99.9% of the time it is not worth paying attention. Friday was different.

Hillis took the handoff and glided through the hole on the right side. He made it about three yards and then something was obviously wrong.

He went from a hunched, forceful running position to an upright stance in a split second. Hillis took the football and threw it twenty yards as he began to limp towards the sideline. Once he got near the sideline he ripped off his helmet and slammed it to the ground. A move that usually is reserved for a scoring celebration was now a release of frustration and a declaration of pain.

As Hillis was consoled by trainers and eventually helped off the field, any doubt in my mind of the validity of his hamstring injury went out the window. If he was faking, he is in the wrong line of work. Instead of working for a rushing title he should be working towards an Oscar.

Coach Pat Shurmur confirmed to the media immediately following practice that Peyton did re-aggravate the hamstring injury which has kept him out for two straight weeks. He will have an MRI this afternoon.

In a game where the Browns so desperately needed their 1,200 yard rusher, they will now turn to Chris Ogbonnaya. In his career, he has 108 yards on 28 carries. Hillis has six games of 100+ yards. Hillis is on the cover of Madden while Ogbonnaya was on the Houston practice squad two weeks ago.

How ironic that he will get his first career start against the team where he couldn’t even crack the roster just 14 days ago.

Montario Hardesty told the media after practice that he is still working to rehab his calf injury. He was wearing a huge boot on his right leg while doing the interview. Hardesty said there is no timetable for his return.

With both Hillis and Hardesty out for the foreseeable future, the season hangs in the balance for the Browns over the next three weeks. It is tough to imagine a win on the road at Houston, but they have two very winnable home games after that.

St. Louis and Jacksonville are not only both bad football teams but could be the turning point of this season. If the Browns win those games they will be at .500 after 10 games and still in the playoff hunt. If they lose them they could be four games below .500 with the season spiraling downward.

The health at the running back position could decide that fate.

Follow Will Burge on twitter @WillBurge




  1. playoffs? youre talking about playoffs? LMFAO!

  2. This is exactly why I voted for Mike Vick to be on the cover of Madden this curse is no joke .

  3. and Hillis being beatup isnt even a quarter of the teams problems. We have players churping to the media (national) and not giving names as the bad mouth team mates. or talk about Private PLayer only meetings. This is bad its apparent the SHurmur lost the locker room if he ever had it since signs were showing weeks ago after the Miami game that this was the case. I have Faith in Heckert and his staff of scouts but other than that this Regime is proving to be as bad as when we had Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage around here. 4-12 this season if we are lucky and worse next year if something isnt done.

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