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Peyton Hillis: “I really was sick, I have no reason to lie about that”

Cleveland's Peyton Hillis celebrates scoring on the Colts during an NFL football game in Indianapolis Reuters

Browns running back Peyton Hillis is aware that some people think he sat out Week Three against the Dolphins not because he was sick, as he says, but because he’s sick of playing for a league-minimum salary. But Hillis says the people who know him, in Cleveland and elsewhere, know that he’s not the type to fake an illness as a contract ploy.

“That’s fine, everybody has their opinion, but I really was sick,” Hillis said on the Dan Patrick Show. “I have no reason to lie about that. If you really want to create a stir you would, and that’s not the kind of guy I am. I’m a guy that’s going to go out there and do his business.”

Hillis said he woke up on the morning of the Browns’ 17-16 win over the Dolphins feeling terrible and thought he couldn’t make it through a game.

“It was my decision,” Hillis said. “It was something that hindered me, my sickness. I lost a lot of weight and I was throwing up. I had strep throat and I was very weak, and when I came in to the stadium early that morning I got looked at by the doctors and the training staff and decided that it was best for me that I didn’t play.”

After a breakout season last year, Hillis has been mediocre this year, with 54 carries for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Combine the drop off in Hillis’s play with his public comments about his agent advising him not to play sick, his feeling that the Browns don’t appreciate him and his concern that he won’t be able to finish his career in Cleveland, and it’s easy to see why some people think his contract status is affecting him.

But Hillis says his focus is on the field.

“I still have a year left on my deal, I have to play out this year, and whatever happens after that will happen,” he said. “All I can control is me going out to the football field and do my best.”

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37 Responses to “Peyton Hillis: “I really was sick, I have no reason to lie about that””
  1. joetoronto says: Oct 11, 2011 10:06 AM

    Get ready to get the crap kicked out of you, Hillis.

    The Raiders are up next.

  2. savannahrose44 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:10 AM

    Give the man a break. Anyone who has ever had strep throat knows how it makes you feel like death warmed up. No one can play at their best feeling like that. Strep is also contagious…Hillis made the smart choice and stayed home.

  3. richm2256 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:13 AM

    “All I can control is me going out to the football field and do my best.”

    ——————————————————–
    You were scary-good last year.

    This year, your “best” is nowhere near as good.

    Did you forget how to run or something?

  4. clownsfan says: Oct 11, 2011 10:19 AM

    ENOUGH ALREADY! So tired pf this non-story. Hillis needs to shut his yapper. Tell his agent to shut his yapper. And get back to work. You want big-time $$$$? You need more than 1, that’s right 1, good season.

  5. ogre2010 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:19 AM

    Why is this a big deal? If he was sick, he was sick!! If the team would had invest the money in him like they should, would they allow him to play if he was sick like he said he was? Also, don’t we get sick of the old players saying I played through this and I paid through that and nobody is taking care of me. And we see a player take the steps too look out for his health and now we want to bash him. I think it’s sad at the same time funny how two faced it is.

  6. itsmammoth says: Oct 11, 2011 10:20 AM

    Dallas would be nasty if they picked this guy up.

    Romo is on fire for 3 quarters.

    Then what better way to stop Romo’s 4th quarter anxiety… than to pound the ball with Hillis?

    Hey, I can dream can’t I? :/

  7. citiciti says: Oct 11, 2011 10:21 AM

    Memo to Peyton and Agent.Quit talking go out and get a 1,000 yards when the season is OVER go out and get payed by the Highest Bidder.
    Wow this agent thing is hard move over Drew I’m jumping in.

  8. fthrvic says: Oct 11, 2011 10:21 AM

    Madden curse strikes with viral illness instead of physical injury…..that, my friends, is evolution!

  9. scudbot says: Oct 11, 2011 10:35 AM

    joetoronto, you’re very scary. I’m sure Hillis will play scared if he shows up at all because of what a desk bound blog commenter says.

  10. Erik says: Oct 11, 2011 10:39 AM

    Everyone just needs to calm down. Steinbach is on IR, and a rookie took his place. The Browns are running a new system with a first-year coach who didn’t have an offseason. Hillis will be fine.

  11. conseannery says: Oct 11, 2011 10:53 AM

    Strep throat is absolutely miserable – like gargling alcohol after eating sandpaper. I wouldn’t go to work with it either, and I sit behind a computer all day for crying out loud.

    Heck, it’s not like the Browns needed him, anyway – they were playing my ‘Phins.

  12. wallacejay says: Oct 11, 2011 10:58 AM

    It doesn’t matter how sick he was. If he had even the slightest hint of strep, there’s no way he should have been anywhere near the rest of the team or the locker room. He gets a pass in my opinion, but he does need the shut his trap.

  13. pkrlvr says: Oct 11, 2011 11:03 AM

    As a child I was plagued with strep throat. Nasty bug, but vomiting is not a symptom at all. Hillis is full of it.

  14. polegojim says: Oct 11, 2011 11:05 AM

    Hillis to D-E-T-R-O-I-T

    Peyton – stop putting up with the disrespect and come to a town and team that will treat you right.

  15. Fan On Fire_Maurice Barksdale says: Oct 11, 2011 11:19 AM

    I’m sure Cleveland wants to re-sign him, he’s their biggest star. But they don’t want to break the bank in doing so.

    So they will limit his touches this year, and then try to re-sign him to modest contract, and then run him into the ground once they get him signed.

    I can see why Hillis is upset though, because he’s clearly out-played his contract.

  16. CKL says: Oct 11, 2011 11:22 AM

    Has Hillis himself been directly quoted as saying he feels disrespected? I can’t imagine his saying that, but maybe he did.
    I think the world of Hillis, but the single worst injustice as far as RBs and contracts right now is Forte’s not having a new one. I would almost support Forte holding out and I HATE that crap.

  17. nickinneohio says: Oct 11, 2011 11:27 AM

    This is all media hype. Hillis is as genuine as they come. Poor Cleveland media is frustrated they get scooped by everyone. Gotta write something!!

  18. tatatoothy says: Oct 11, 2011 11:28 AM

    You quit on your team Peyton. Shame on you. Enjoy being Montareo Hardesty’s backup.

  19. td40 says: Oct 11, 2011 11:30 AM

    OMG, you guys can’t let this non-story go, can you?

    There are already stories out there about how this has all been settled, figured out, was misunderstood in the first place, and is over- Meanwhile, PFT is *still* trying to drum up controversy where there is NONE.

    More and more like National Enquirer every day around here.

  20. td40 says: Oct 11, 2011 11:41 AM

    polegojim says:
    Oct 11, 2011 11:05 AM

    Hillis to D-E-T-R-O-I-T

    Peyton – stop putting up with the disrespect and come to a town and team that will treat you right.
    —————————————————

    Nice try. “The town” and the Browns organization treat him like he’s God. It’s a *couple of reporters* for the Cleveland Plain Dealer who keep trying to manufacture controversy where there is none in their desperate quest to be seen as “journalists”- I’m sure Peyton Hillis knows the dif between feeling like “the town” doesn’t want him and knowing that there’s a couple idiots who feel like their columns are meaningless without some kind of pot-stirring.

    If you want to see a player “the town” turned on, look no further than your own backyard- Eric Wright. And we’re *still* glad he’s gone. Yep, he’s having a decent year in Detroit so far, but he sucked HARD the last couple seasons he played in Cleveland and nobody misses him considering his rookie replacement, Joe Haden, has already made us forget about him.

  21. ppc50 says: Oct 11, 2011 12:18 PM

    I agree with a previous poster that both he and his agent need to let the issue go and stop talking about it. I think Dallas would be smart to trade for him now, before he has a few good games. They need a power back very badly.

  22. castleofcheese says: Oct 11, 2011 12:20 PM

    I’m sure glad he beat Rodgers out for the Madden cover.

  23. medialovesthecowboys says: Oct 11, 2011 12:22 PM

    “I’m a guy that’s going to go out there and do his business.”

    Najeh Davenport once said the same thing.

  24. cledawg says: Oct 11, 2011 12:24 PM

    The Browns need Hillis a lot more than they are letting on. I don’s feel McCoy is going to have the type arm needed for the colder months on the lake shore. A strong running game in the winter is key.
    In regards to his contract though, He has changed agents 3 times in the last 7 months, you tell me. The guy deserves a hefty pay raise, but nothing like Peterson or Johnson at 13m a year.

  25. savocabol1 says: Oct 11, 2011 12:34 PM

    Just ESPN’s way of making up a controversy when one doesn’t exist. We will re-sign Hillis.

  26. dukemarc says: Oct 11, 2011 12:49 PM

    Hillis seems like a good guy……however, I also think the Browns are going to severely overpay him.

  27. johnnyjagfan says: Oct 11, 2011 12:49 PM

    Please stop giving energy to this story.

  28. jusford says: Oct 11, 2011 1:01 PM

    I thought PFT was done with this story (final word) last week?

  29. golonger says: Oct 11, 2011 1:21 PM

    I guess its a bad season all around for all that is Peyton!

  30. skinsrock says: Oct 11, 2011 1:25 PM

    This is so old… Hillis needs to stop letting his contract get in the way of his play… I’m sure he won’t be in the unemployment line next year, but he isn’t getting top RB money.

  31. Deb says: Oct 11, 2011 1:51 PM

    I love it when players give people an impression then blame them for “getting” the wrong impression. If Hillis doesn’t want reporters, teammates, or fans to think his sick leaves have anything to do with his contract negotiations, then he shouldn’t talk about his agent advising him not to play. That’s his doctor’s job.

  32. shaggytoodle says: Oct 11, 2011 2:47 PM

    Must have caught some of the Madden Curse thats been going around for a while.

  33. pigskinswag says: Oct 11, 2011 2:51 PM

    Pigskinswag: “I really don’t give a damn, I have no reason to lie about that”

  34. kampfire90 says: Oct 11, 2011 4:59 PM

    Hillis is a stand-up kind of guy. The reporters (cleveland media) acted like a bunch of hacks. I believe Hillis. This BS should end now.

  35. guada1265 says: Oct 11, 2011 5:16 PM

    …thanks Cleveland, for putting Hillis on the cover of Madden and NOT Aaron Rodgers!

    (You know it’s the curse!)

  36. football58 says: Oct 11, 2011 8:11 PM

    So Peyton Hillis who was disappeared down the stretch last season and is ranked 31st in yardage this season wants a new contract. I think he deserves one, and Cleveland should give him one so then can ensure mediocrity for the future along with noodle arm Colt. Hopefully Hillis doesn’t quit on it team like he did earlier this year when the going gets tough.

  37. trickbunny says: Oct 11, 2011 9:19 PM

    football58 says:
    Oct 11, 2011 8:11 PM

    “So Peyton Hillis who was disappeared down the stretch last season… ”
    ———-
    Last year, Hillis had no serviceable backup. By the last 3rd of the season, he had been been beaten to a pulp from being overused. Also, the Browns had just about zero passing game and way over-relied on the run. So teams quite simply started stacking the box constantly. Put ANY other RB in these exact same conditions and watch their production fall off down the stretch, too. Fact. But, uh, you already knew all that, didn’t you?
    ———–
    “…and is ranked 31st in yardage this season.”
    ———–
    Let’s see. The Browns have played 4 games so far this season. Hillis didn’t play at all in one of them and played a whopping 10 snaps in another. So that’s about what- 40% less of a CHANCE to gain any yards and get out of the stat basement? But hey, then again, you already knew that, didn’t you?
    ———-
    “Hopefully Hillis doesn’t quit on it team like he did earlier this year when the going gets tough.”
    ———
    When you say “the going gets tough”, are you referring to the fact that the Browns won the game before the one Hillis sat out? -or are do you mean the going got tough by having a high fever, no energy, nausea, the ability to easily infect others, and the OK from the coaching staff that he wasn’t expected to play in that state? But hey, you already knew that, didn’t you?

    The best trolls are the ones that don’t make it painfully obvious they are trolling. I think you need a bit more practice.

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