CLEVELAND – The Browns will be without running backs Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty for the preseason game against the Detroit Lions tonight at 7:30 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Hardesty practiced in full pads all week – the first time since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last preseason – but he’s inactive as the Browns continue to bring him along slowly. The third preseason game is Thursday in Philadelphia.
Hillis strained a hamstring Wednesday at the end of practice – coach Pat Shurmur termed it minor — and was also inactive.
That should mean a bunch of first-half carries for Brandon Jackson, a free-agent acquisition from Green Bay, as the starters are expected to play close to a half. The other running backs are Quinn Porter and Armond Smith.
The other Cleveland inactives are: tight end Benjamin Watson (hamstring), safeties T.J. Ward (hamstring), Usama Young (hamstring) and Eric Hagg (knee), linebackers Scott Fujita (thigh) and Chris Gocong (neck stinger), left guard Eric Steinbach (back), receivers Mohamed Massaquoi (foot) and Carlton Mitchell (finger) and defensive lineman Jabari Fletcher (knee).
Hillis, Watson, Ward, Young, Fujita, Gocong, Steinbach and Massaquoi are starters.
Mike Adams and Ray Ventrone will start at safety, Kaluka Maiava and Brian Smith at linebacker, John Greco at left guard and Evan Moore at tight end. Brian Robiskie and Joshua Cribbs will open at receiver.
For the Lions, Eric Wright is active despite injuring a groin early in the week.
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