BEREA, Ohio — Rookie running back Montario Hardesty said he suffered a bone bruise to his right knee and feels he will be back on the field sooner than later.
“I’ll just be happy being back out there,” Hardesty said. “I’m not practicing today, but I’ll be out there in the near future.”
It was the first time Hardesty has talked to reporters since suffering the injury before training camp. Hardesty was asked if he’ll be ready for the season opener on Sept. 12 against Tampa Bay.
“I hope to be out there before then.”
He was asked if he will play this week.
“Against Detroit?” he nodded his head no. “Chicago.”
The Browns final preseason game is Sept. 2 at home against the Bears.
Hardesty said he has been able to keep up with the offense.
“I’m very comfortable with the offense and when I’m healthy, I want to hit the field I want to hit the field running.”
Mangini termed the injury to Hardesty as a twisted knee. Hardesty said he was injured the week of rookie training camp and was worried when it happened.
“You’re always worried that it’s something big,” he said. “But when I got the MRI and it was a bone bruise, you just have to let the bruise heal and then get back out there.”
Hardesty said he’s right on the schedule the training staff set up for him.
“I’ve had to be patient,” Hardesty said. “The trainers set up a plan and I’m right on time.”
Hardesty thinks he’ll be able to get back sooner than later, despite missing all of training camp.
“I’ve been studying and I know the system,” he said. “I just want to get back on the field, where I’m not held back.”
Lauvao Returns as Starter: Not many times does a player get a promotion when they’re gone, but that is the case with rookie Shawn Lauvao, who missed close to a week for personal reasons.
On this week’s depth chart, Lauvao is listed as the starting right guard since Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack is sidelined with a knee injury. Lauvao is the only rookie listed as a starter on offense. Womack was listed as the starter the first two weeks of the preseason.
“It’s a tremendous blessing and I can’t thank God enough,” he said. “I want to do whatever the coaches ask of me.
“I just need to focus on what needs to be done.”
Eric Mangini hedged when asked if Lauvao might have to leave again, but Lauvao didn’t
“I’m back for good,” Lauvao said prior to Tuesday’s practice. “It feels good to be back. I just had to take care of some personal things back home.
“I’m ready to get back out there and get in the groove.”
Lauvao was asked if he will be able to put all of his attention on playing football.
“For the most part, I’m here and I just want to focus on football.”
Lauvao was back on the practice field as the team prepared for Saturday’s preseason game with the Lions. Lauvao left for his home in Hawaii and missed most of last week and the second preseason game against the Rams.
Lauvao started and played well in the preseason opener against the Packers and he feels he can pick up where he left off.
“I’m just trying to do what the coaches are asking me to do,” he said. “I’m trying to improve and it helps having good players around me. They’re good guys and it helps to make the transition a lot easier.”
Reinforcements Coming: Mangini said that besides Lauvao, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, OL Tony Pashos and LB David Bowens were returning to the practice field Tuesday.
Nothing New on Rogers, Mosely: Mangini said there is nothing new to report on DL Shaun Rogers, in terms of him coming off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
“No real updates,” Mangini said. “He’s moving along, he and C.J. We’re seeing movement, but we’re not putting any definitive timeline on (Rogers).”
Mangini wasn’t sure on the deadline on taking a player off of the PUP list without forcing him to miss six games.
“You can do it couple of different ways,” he said. “If you go into the season there’s a block of time.”
Mangini said that DB Coye Francies was injured during OTAs and he said there’s no update on him.
St. Clair Out: Mangini said that OL John St. Clair will miss practice on Tuesday for personal reasons.