Trent Richardson had an impressive rookie season with the Cleveland Browns, totaling over 1,300 yards rushing and receiving. He fell just 50 yards short of 1,000 yards on the ground, but ultimately Richardson showed that he should be worthy of the third overall pick Cleveland spent on him. Especially when you consider the fact that he played through a painful injury for most of the season.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Richardson suffered a rib cartilage injury on Oct. 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals. After the final game of the season, he admitted that two of his ribs are broken and that it still hurts to lay on his right side or his back.
“Sometimes it’s hard to shift positions, twist, catch balls on my shoulder,” Richardson said. “It was real tough because it limits you from a lot. You can’t really cut like you want to or you can’t really make the body movement like you want to. You can’t squeeze through the hole like you want to. You can’t really get full burst ‘cause your feet hitting the ground, it’s impacting all of that. It hurts a lot, especially when you get punched and you get hit in that side. Some guys on the ground want to do other stuff, want to come in and land on your ribs, which really hurts. It impacts a lot.”
While Richardson says the injury was so painful he needed help getting dressed and getting into the shower, he didn’t use it as an excuse for a season that he says was not what he had hoped for.
“I wasn’t satisfied with my season at all,” he said. “Looking back at it, there was some times and positions where I couldn’t do anything, and I made something out of nothing. My offensive line they picked me up, and they got better and better as the season went on. … At a time like this, you got to discipline yourself to make sure that you be hard on yourself when you go back and watch film and make sure that you criticize yourself so hard to where you won’t make those mistakes next year.”
Assuming Richardson is healthy entering next season, the Browns offense should receive a boost. But first, Cleveland will have to find itself a new head coach.