Jun 4, 2013; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty (20) warms up during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Montario Hardesty ruled out of Cleveland Browns Thursday preseason game

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While Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson is set to make the first preseason game of his NFL career on Thursday, one of the team’s back ups has been ruled out with an injury of his own. According to reports, Montario Hardesty suffered a dislocated thumb that will keep him out of action.

Hardesty would not speak with reporters after Tuesday’s practice. He was wearing padding on his thumb during the session.

“We padded him up, and he was OK,” Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said, via the Akron Beacon-Journal. “He went out and did some individual drills in practice today, and we’ll see about him for next week.”

With Hardesty out of action, it is an even bigger opportunity for third-string running back Dion Lewis, who looked exceptional during his first outing with the Browns last week.

If Lewis can put together another impressive performance and show that he can perfectly fill a Darren Sproles type role in Norv Turner’s offense, he could earn the team’s primary back up job. It will be interesting to see how he steps up with this latest opportunity.

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