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Another tough blow

August 19, 2013 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND -- As if it can't get worse for Browns running back Montario Hardesty, he now faces arthroscopic knee surgery to repair some wear-and-tear issues. Coach Rob Chudzinski said Wednesday that Hardesty will likely be sidelined four weeks. The team will have to decide whether to carry him on the roster or place him on injured reserve and lose his services for the entire year when final cuts are made.

Another possibility would be to negotiate an injury settlement and part ways with Hardesty, who has been slowed by injuries since arriving as a second-round draft choice from Tennessee in 2010.

Hardesty's string of bad luck is amazing. He had two knee surgeries while at Tennessee, but former Browns general manager Tom Heckert liked what he saw of Hardesty in his final year with the Vols, when he was healthy.

Hardesty suffered a major knee injury on the seventh carry of his first preseason game in 2010 and sat out the entire season. He's had to deal with several nagging leg injuries in recent years, including a pulled hamstring in camp this year.

Hardesty walked off the field after practice Tuesday without answering questions from reporters. He had a look of dejection that bordered on anger.

Who can blame the guy. So much natural talent, yet such a fragile body for the demands of the sport.

Hopefully, Hardesty will get a chance with another team and earn a fourth season, which is enough time to be vested in the NFL's pension plan. He's been a trooper through demanding times. He deserves more than a pink slip and no pension money down the road.


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