Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/31/11
BEREA, OhioThe Browns are down to one healthy running back after Montario Hardesty went down with a strained calf injury.Pat Shurmur wouldnt say how long Hardesty will be sidelined, but did say he would miss game(s).Hardesty pulled a calf, Shurmur said. Hes going to miss some time. Hes in a boot and is going to miss some time.Shurmur was asked if hell miss games.Its very doubtful hell play this week, he said. It will take some time to heal up.Hardesty was injured in the first quarter against the 49ers after just two carries for six yards. Hardesty missed the entire 2010 season with a torn ACL. Hardesty leads the Browns with 75 rushes for 244 yards (3.3 avg.) with no touchdowns. Hes caught 12 passes 113 yards.The injury left the Browns with one healthy running back Sunday in Chris Ogbonnaya. Peyton Hillis sat out the second-straight game with a hamstring injury. Ogbonnaya has 14 rushes for 52 yards, including 11 for 37 against the 49ers. Hes caught 10 passes for 67 yards in the two games hes been with the Browns. Hillis has 60 carries for 211 yards (3.5 avg.)and two touchdowns in four games. He has 15 receptions for 76 yards.Shurmur said the Browns will be auditioning backs on Tuesday.Well have running backs in here Tuesday, he said. Rookie Armond Smith, who was on the active roster and is now on the practice squad is a possibility.Shurmur indicated hed prefer a back that has experience and can step in and play, as soon as this week. Wed like to have a guy who can be up and running quickly, he said. After missing the last two weeks, the Browns would get a big boost if Hillis would be able to play this week.Were hopeful, Shurmur said. Hes day to day.Hillis practiced last Wednesday and was sore on Thursday resulting in the setback. It is obvious the lack of a rushing attack has seriously hurt the Browns in all phases of their offense. However, Shurmur wouldnt use the injuries to the running backs as an excuse.Our list of runners has increased, but I like to think we can still run the ball, he said. Weve sustained some injuries, but we just have to keep playing.Once you make the first excuse, its a slippery slope, he said. There are no excuses.On the season, the Browns are averaging just 3.2 yards a carry and have only scored two rushing touchdowns. NotebookInjury Update: Besides Hardesty and Hillis, DL Auston English (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (concussion), LB Chris Gocong (stinger), DB Dimitri Patterson (knee) and DB Ray Ventrone (hamstring).Shurmur said Massaquoi was doing light running and making progress. English is progressing, but is likely out for this weeks game. He said Patterson had an MRI on his left knee, but no results were back. Ventrone did some running and is doing well.Shurmur was asked if Gocong suffered the same injury that was termed a stinger that kept him out the entire preseason. I dont know that specifically, he said. I heard he was feeling better today.Defense Drops: The Browns defense dropped from fourth to sixth in the NFL. The Browns are 26th in rushing defense and second against the pass. On offense, the Browns are 25th overall, 29th rushing and 20th passing.The 49ers rushed for 174 yards on 39 carries for a 4.5 average. RB Frank Gore had 134 yards on 31 carries. The Browns travel to Houston to take on RB Arian Foster and the Texans fourth-best rushing offense.The defense battled in the first half and (the game) couldve got out of reach, Shurmur said. They battled in the second half and found a way to keep (the 49ers) off the boards.Norwood Shines: Shurmur called WR Jordan Norwood a bright spot in the 20-10 loss. He caught five passes for 32 yards in his most extensive playing time.Norwood stepped up and made some plays, Shurmur said.Shurmur was asked if he still feels he has enough play makers. Were putting the guys out there who can make plays, he said. Jordan Norwood is new to the party and he had some production. Greg little had some production.
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