BEREA — The Browns announced Friday afternoon they placed rookie running back Montario Hardesty on season-ending injured reserve.
Hardesty was injured Thursday night on a carry during a 13-10 preseason win over the Bears, and ESPN reported he suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. If that’s the case, recovery time is often around nine months.
Hardesty, a second-round pick out of Tennessee, was hurt making a cut on a 2-yard carry against Chicago in the preseason finale. According to Schefter’s league source, an MRI on Friday showed the tear.
Hardesty has a history of knee problems and missed all of training camp with a bone bruise in his right knee. He was making his Browns debut Thursday and carried seven times for 25 yards and a 1-yard touchdown.
Hardesty had surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee in 2005. He had an arthroscopic procedure on the left knee during college.
The Browns hoped Hardesty could become their featured back after trading a third-round and two fifth-round draft picks to move back into the second round and take him No. 59 overall.
Hardesty was down after the game Thursday night and left the locker room on crutches.
“Whatever the outcome is, I’ll definitely work hard to be back,” he said.
He had been excited to get back on the field.
“It was fun, man,” he said. “I’ve been playing football for a while, so it was comfortable getting back out there, just trying to jell with the team a little bit, get the contact and get back on the field.
“All that felt great. I’m just hoping and praying it’s just a minor setback and I’ll be back out there.”
Jerome Harrison will remain the starter at running back, with Peyton Hillis and likely James Davis the backups.
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