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Browns' Richardson played half-season with broken ribs

The SportsXchange

Cleveland Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson sat out the season finale Sunday, costing him a chance to top the 1,000-yard mark in rushing.

The fact that he even amassed 950 yards was amazing, as he announced Monday that he played more than half of the season with two broken ribs.

Richardson, who started the Browns' first 15 games, was hurt Oct. 14 in Cleveland's 34-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The team regularly listed him on its injury reports with a rib cartilage problem, and Richardson missed Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers because of an ankle injury.

Asked how long before he'd be fully recovered, Richardson told reporters, "I don't know how much time it's going to take me. I still can't lay flat on my back or on my side, but it's going to come around, and I know I'll be healthy before next season, and I'll be back right in training camp and (organized team activities).

"Ya'll will see me flying around and see me back skinny man again -- I won't have that big vest on next year. I'm going to have a rib protector on, but I won't have a big vest on."

Richardson's rushing total topped Jim Brown's franchise rookie record, but it was his perseverance through the injury that impressed his teammates.

"Most guys would completely shut it down and say, 'Oh, I'm getting paid,'" quarterback Brandon Weeden, another rookie, told reporters. "That's not his thing. He's a competitor. He knew how tough a player he was, how much he meant to this team. I applaud him. It's amazing what he was able to do with such a beat-up body."

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