April 24, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
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Browns: Trent Richardson played with broken ribs

BEREA — Browns running back Trent Richardson finally came clean Monday as he was cleaning out his locker at the end of the season.

The rookie from Alabama admitted that he actually suffered two broken ribs, in addition to torn cartilage on the left side of his chest, on Oct. 14 against the Bengals.

“My (surgically repaired left) knee never gave me a problem, but the ribs are broke and it’s tough playing like that,” Richardson said. “I’m the type of guy when anything is hurting, if I can play, I can play, so I did.

“Talking to Jim Brown and a lot of guys, they were like, ‘I don’t know how you’re doing it.’ That’s why, like I said, to go through a whole season like that, I don’t think (my performance) was that bad.”

“T-Rich” added that he has been unable to sleep on his right side or back since being hurt, which also affected his breathing and stamina during games.

Richardson completed his first NFL season with a team-high 950 yards and a franchise rookie-record 12 touchdowns, but underwhelmed many fans with a 3.6-yard average per carry. He also missed Cleveland’s season finale at Pittsburgh with a sprained ankle.

“This offseason and training camp will do me good because (this past summer), I just had to go out there in the fire and just play football,” Richardson said. “That first game, they didn’t know what my game speed was, and that was my first week back running, so I just went out there and played.”

Aloha my friends

Tackle Joe Thomas and kicker Phil Dawson will represent the Browns in the NFL Pro Bowl on Jan. 27 in Honolulu.

Dawson also is now an unrestricted free agent, making it possible that it could be his finale wearing the brown and orange.

“I’m open to talking to anybody because I need a job,” he said. “There will be a time for that stuff, but it’s not right now. Everything has to sort itself, but I’m open to anything.

“I am just going to go home and let everything sort itself out.”

Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (inside linebacker), center Alex Mack (center) and Joshua Cribbs (kick returner and special teamer) are first-alternates for the AFC roster. If any players at their position decline to participate or qualify for the Super Bowl, they would be given tickets to Hawaii.

Looking ahead

The Browns will have the sixth pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Kansas City, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia and Detroit comprise the top five.

Cleveland and Arizona both finished with 5-11 records, but the Browns’ strength of schedule (.508) was easier than the Cardinals’ (.559), moving them up one spot.

l Cleveland’s 2013 regular season opener takes place on Sept. 8, while its final game will be played on Dec. 29. Both dates are Sundays.

The Browns’ home opponents will be Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Jacksonville, Miami, and Pittsburgh.

Their road foes are Baltimore, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Kansas City, Minnesota, New England, the New York Jets, and Pittsburgh.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.