Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty left today’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a calf injury. His return is questionable, according to John Clayton of ESPN. Hardesty is starting in place of Peyton Hillis, who sat out this week still recovering from a hamstring injury.
The Browns are struggling against a resurgent 49ers team. They trail 17-3 in the third quarter. If Hardesty cannot return, it will leave Cleveland thin at running back. Recent addition Chris Ogbonnaya has done the bulk of the rushing work today, picking up eight carries for 25 yards. The 49ers defense is one of the toughest in the league, especially for opposing running backs.
This is Hardesty’s second season in the NFL. Prior to this game, he had 238 rushing yards on 73 carries for a very unproductive 3.3 yards per carry. He had 12 catches for 113 yards prior to this game, and he has yet to score either a receiving or rushing touchdown this season.