The hits just keep coming for the Cleveland Browns, who have already lost running back Dion Lewis for the entire season after placing him on the injured reserve list yesterday, and have now lost Montario Hardesty as well after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. The surgery was performed last week, and now the team knows for sure Hardesty won’t be able to contribute this year, and have placed him on I.R. as well.
It’s the same knee in which Hardesty tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the final preseason game of 2010 and caused him to miss his entire rookie year.
Despite this latest setback, Browns coaches like Hardesty’s running ability and believe he adds enough value to warrant remaining on the roster, even if it’s on the I.R.
Hardesty missed most of training camp with a hamstring tendon issue and then dislocated his right thumb in practice on Monday while trying to catch a direct snap from center. Hardesty rushed for 271 yards last season. He missed his entire rookie season in 2010 after tearing his ACL in the final exhibition game.
This isn’t the first time Hardesty has had a significant knee injury. He tore his right ACL his freshman year at Tennessee in 2005, and underwent a left knee scope after that season.
With Lewis and Hardesty now on IR, the top two backups to Trent Richardson are Brandon Jackson and Miguel Maysonet on the team’s depth chart.