Browns’ Montario Hardesty lands on IR
Montario Hardesty, who has struggled with knee issues through most of his NFL career, underwent surgery in early August to repair the anterior cruciate ligaments in both of his knee.
The 26-year-old previously also sat out his entire rookie season with an ACL injury suffered in the preseason, after the Cleveland Browns drafted him as a second-round pick in 2010.Hardesty also missed time during his 2011 campaign with a calf injury, but remained healthy last season as he rushed for 271 yards and a touchdown in 12 games.
In past two seasons, Hardesty ran for 537 yards, while playing 23 career games for the Browns.
Hardesty was limited with a hamstring injury throughout most of training camp this year, and returned to practice only to dislocate his thumb while attempting to catch a direct snap from center.
The move with Hardesty comes just a day after the Browns also put running back Dion Lewis on the injured reserve with a surgically repaired left leg, ending his 2013 season effective immediately. The loss of both Hardesty and Lewis hurts the Browns’ depth and could force them to sign a running back ahead of the September 8 season opener against the Miami Dolphins.
In other moves in the offensive backfield, the Browns also released fullback Owen Marecic, a fourth-round pick out of Stanford in 2011. Marecic lost his job to primary fullback this summer to Chris Ogbonnaya, after the latter converted from tailback.
During two seasons with the Browns, Marecic started six games.
The Browns made a number of other moves ahead of Tuesday’s roster cuts deadline, in effort to trim down to 75-player league limit. The team waived linebacker Kendrick Adams, offensive linemen Dominic Aloford and Ryan Miller, wide receiver Dominique Croom, defensive lineman Nicolas Jean-Baptiste and tight end Travis Tannahill.
Miller suffered a concussion early in training camp. Miller sustained the head injury during a blocking drill early in training camp and needed to be carted off the field. He entered the NFL’s concussion protocol program before being cut.
Rookie offensive lineman Chris Faulk was also placed on the reserve/non-football injury list and is done for the season. Meanwhile, the Browns were awarded linebacker Paul Hazel and punter Colton Schmidt off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers respectively.