Browns may shut down Richardson for three weeks
The injury, as Richardson stated himself, is turning out to be much more serious than people thought. Richardson wouldn't be held out of action by a simple rib injury, being one of the toughest players to come out of the most recent draft. Werder called the injury "serious," and also hinted that he aggravated it on a "direct hit" in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Colts, which contradicts the statements of head coach Pat Shurmur, who said Richardson had suffered no setbacks.
Werder mentioned that the Browns are wary of letting Richardson play through the injury, as they don't want it to affect him throughout the entire rest of the season. "The team is now discussing whether to hold him out through the bye week or to allow him to heal," Werder reported. "The fear being that if they don't, he'll be debilitated by this injury all year long."
However, that's not the only thing for the coaching staff to consider. The Browns have just undergone new ownership, and the new owner, Jimmy Haslam, wants to see some production if he's going to keep his coaching staff intact. "There's internal conflict about shutting (Richardson) down, though, because Pat Shurmur has to win some games here," Werder said. "They've only got one victory and Jimmy Haslam... says he wants a stronger finish if he's going to bring back the coaching staff."
Obviously, you'd like to see the coaching staff do what's in the best interest of the young injured player. However, there will likely be a lot of things to consider when benching your most talented weapon could lead to losing your job.
Richardon's fantasy owners now need to get their hands on Montario Hardesty, who seems likely to get a ton of work over the next two weeks. Chris Ogbonnaya will probably be close to Hardesty in snap count, but as a passing down specialist he won't get enough looks to be a reliable fantasy option. While those who drafted Richardson may be furious at the idea of shutting him down, it may be best for your teams when Richardson is fresh down the stretch for your fantasy playoff runs.