In news that could shake up the first round of more than a few fantasy football drafts this summer, Will Burge of ESPNCleveland.com is reporting that Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson will be held out of all football activities until August with an injury in his leg that his team fears could develop into a stress fracture.
Just last week, Richardson spoke to the media and insisted he was not going to become the kind of player who gets the “injury-prone” label. Those words look pretty empty now. In his rookie season, Richardson fought through a knee injury and multiple broken ribs to produce 950 yards rushing and 12 total touchdowns — certainly good numbers, but not what some had expected from the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Though this current injury was being called a pulled muscle just a few days ago, the fact that the Browns are worried it could develop into a stress fracture suggests it’s much more serious. Considering how vital Richardson is to the Browns’ offensive plans, playing it extra safe and giving him two full months to heal makes sense.
For non-Browns fans, the most relevant aspect of this story is the fantasy football implications. Richardson is going off the board in the late first round of many drafts (yes, some leagues draft this early in the year). We should see him slip into the second round and perhaps beyond after this news, but this isn’t a Michael Crabtree situation. Before the majority of fantasy drafts are held in August, we’ll have a good idea of Richardson’s status for the 2013 season opener.