Cleveland Browns RB Montario Hardesty will be getting the start in Friday's preseason opener against the Detroit Lions over rookie Trent Richardson, who is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. On Wednesday, Hardesty revealed to FOX Sports Ohio that he had an infection on his surgically-repaired knee that set back his recovery process.
Analysis: It's been a tough start to Hardesty's NFL career. A former 2nd-round pick in 2010, he tore his ACL in his first preseason game and missed his entire rookie season. 2011 wasn't much better, as he tried playing through the infection and scuffled (266 yards, 3.0 YPC, no touchdowns) before a torn calf muscle shut him down again. However, things seem to finally be looking up for Hardesty--he has drawn rave reviews at training camp and moved ahead of Brandon Jackson as the #2 RB. The Browns are planning to be cautious with Richardson's workload, even more so now with his knee concerns, so Hardesty is worth keeping an eye on as a handcuff pick in deeper leagues.