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Andy Behrens

Another name for the do-not-draft list: Montario Hardesty

Andy Behrens
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Brutal news out of Cleveland today: Montario Hardesty(notes) reportedly has a torn ACL. He's done for the year.

Hardesty injured his left knee on Thursday night against Chicago, in his first preseason action. The rookie rushed for 25 yards on seven carries and scored on a 1-yard first quarter run, but he hurt the knee on a fairly routine cut. Terrible break. If you already drafted Hardesty in any sort of non-dynasty format, you can drop him.

Jerome Harrison(notes) obviously deserves a significant bump in the running back ranks. If we were drafting today, he'd be the No. 24 RB on my cheat sheet, just ahead of Felix Jones(notes) and Matt Forte(notes). The Browns clearly don't view him as an every-down back — if they did, they wouldn't have spent a second-round pick on Hardesty. But Cleveland opens the regular season with games against Tampa Bay and Kansas City, so you'll want to start Harrison early in the year. The Bucs and Chiefs finished last and next-to-last in run defense in 2009, and you might recall that Harrison posted a pretty decent line against KC in Week 15.

James Davis is behind Harrison on the depth chart, and he had a featured role on Thursday. Davis gained 66 yards on 15 carries and added five catches for 53. Peyton Hillis(notes) is a candidate to poach short-yardage and goal line work, so keep him on the radar, too.

No, we don't expect Cleveland to field a high-scoring offense, but eventually you may have to own a member of the Browns. As Harrison taught us last year, there's hope for the running game.


Photo via AP Images

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