By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat ReporterBy Daryl Ruiter | 92.3 The Fan

BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty can’t catch a break.

A day after returning from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the previous 7 practices and forced him to miss the preseason opener, Hardesty injured his right thumb during team 11 on 11 work.

Hardesty tried to catch a direct snap from center which caromed off his thumb. Trainers wrapped his hand in what appeared to be some sort of cast and he did not return.

Head coach Rob Chudzinski didn’t have much of a preliminary diagnosis or prognosis following practice.

“I don’t, other than he hurt his thumb,” Chudzinski said. “The ball hit his hand and he injured it.

“It’s a tough deal. We will see what the status is and how soon he will be back.”

Hardesty, who is entering his 4th season, has missed part or all of 9 of the 15 practices so far in camp placing his roster spot in jeopardy.

Dion Lewis has narrowed the competition behind Trent Richardson with a solid camp and productive debut last Thursday against the Rams.

The 2010 2nd round pick rushed for 271 yards and a touchdown in 12 games last season. He missed his entire rookie year after tearing a knee ligament in the preseason following knee injuries while in college at Tennessee.

“To see this guy work hard every day and fight back to get back, we’ve got to keep his spirits high,” Richardson said. “We’re praying for him and we’re going to be behind him 100 percent and we want Montario to know that we’re your boys and we’re your brothers and we’re not going to let you down.”

He missed the fourth practice session of camp due to a hamstring injury and it kept him out for 2 days. After briefly returning on day 6, he sat practices 7 through 13 before returning on Sunday – the 14th session of camp.

What To Do With Richardson – Chudzinski still won”t say if he will play Richardson Thursday night against Detroit.

“I have an idea on what I want to get done,” Chudzinski said. “We will talk in detail [tonight]. I will give you a little more outline for tomorrow overall on what we are going to do. A lot of it is going to depend, in terms of all the guys, where they are at from a health perspective.

“We have a lot of guys starting work this week and coming back so I will give you more detail the day before the game on those specific guys.”

Richardson sat out the preseason opener against St. Louis as a precaution to rest a sore shin that got kicked and cost him 2 practices.

And yes the shin is fine.

“What shin,” Richardson said with a laugh. “I don’t even know what shin y’all are talking about.”

Although he’d like to play against the Lions, if he sits again, Richardson understands it could be for the best.

“In the back of your mind you’ve got to realize that it’s preseason,” Richardson said. “I’m not saying the games don’t mean nothing, but it’s preseason. Coach is gonna do the best thing for me and put me in the best position to stay healthy for the whole season.”

Richardson hopes to put the injury prone label behind him and he expects to have a breakout year.

To do that, his health is key and right now that’s not a problem.

“It’s the best I’ve felt in a long time. Even since college, man,” Richardson said. “It’s the best I’ve felt in a long time. I feel ready to go and when coach give me that green light I’m a be ready, and I’m gonna be in there for my team and working hard for them.”

Veteran Rest – Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson spent the team portion of practice alongside defensive coordinator Ray Horton Monday.

Jackson participated in the individual and positional drills of the session. He was just given a day to rest according to Chudzinski.

Another VIP Visit – Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant is the latest VIP to drop by Browns camp.

Sunday, Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson stopped by and visited with owner Jimmy Haslam and team president Alec Scheiner.

Monday Grant watched practice alongside CEO Joe Banner, Scheiner and general manager Mike Lombardi.

3 Return – Receiver Jordan Norwood, cornerback Chris Owens and offensive lineman Oniel Cousins returned to practice Monday.

It was the first appearance for Cousins in camp since he sustained a sprained ankle in the weeks leading up to camp

Norwood recovered from a hamstring injury while Owens was out with a foot injury that cause him to miss the preseason opener last Thursday.

Injuries – Defensive lineman Hall Davis (undisclosed), receiver David Nelson (knee), cornerback Leon McFadden (groin), right guard Shawn Lauvao (left ankle), offensive linemen Ryan Miller (concussion) and Chris Faulk (knee) and fullback Brock Bolen (calf) did not practice Monday.

Up Next – The Browns will hold their final practice of training camp that is free and open to the public on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Gates open at 3.

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