Trent Richardson's recovery from a shin injury and a muscle strain is going well enough that the second-year running back will make his preseason debut this week, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Richardson sat out the preseason opener and has been limited in training camp while he worked his way back. He was kicked in the shin during offseason workouts and missed the majority of OTAs. There was speculation Cleveland would sideline Richardson for the entire preseason, but head coach Rob Chudzinski announced Richardson will play on Thursday, much to the delight of the 22-year-old running back.
"Oh, he told you I'm playing?" Richardson said after Tuesday's practice, via ESPN.com. "Hey, I'm surprised like y'all and I'm happy and I can't wait to get up out there."
Richardson has a long injury history, despite only being in his second year in the league. He was limited as a rookie by a knee injury and broken ribs before the shin injury and muscle strain this offseason. He practiced with the starters on Tuesday and will now play a couple of series against Detroit.
Not only will Thursday's game be Richardson's 2013 preseason debut, it will be the first preseason game of his career. He missed the entire 2012 preseason while recovering from knee surgery. Cleveland offensive coordinator Norv Turner said Richardson may carry the ball 300 times this season, and the fact he appears to be back to full strength is the first step in that direction.