Browns running back Montario Hardesty earned major kudos all offseason from the team’s coaching staff, with resulting expectations that Hardesty would soon grow into the feature back role on the team.
But the rookie second round pick twisted his knee before training camp started and didn’t return to practice until this week. He’s expected to play Thursday night, and a solid showing could help him cement a significant role in Week One.
The Browns appear to have strong depth in their backfield. Former Broncos fan favorite Peyton Hillis has carved out a role, and Jerome Harrison probably will get the most touches in Week One.
Thursday also marks a big test for Colt McCoy. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports McCoy will make the final roster and play two quarters on Thursday. It’s McCoy’s last chance to show he’s not in over his head as a pro quarterback.