While Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace will likely be inactive with their respective ankle injuries on Sunday, running back and all-world Red Rover player Peyton Hillis will likely be suiting up and playing despite not being 100 percent in terms of health.
Hillis, who has surprisingly not sustained injuries to his back and shoulders after carrying the other 10 offensive players through five games, is dealing with a tender quadriceps muscle which he incurred during his one-handed touchdown catch against the Atlanta Falcons.
The injury would call for occasional spells, and was evident throughout the game where the bruising back only amassed 28 yards on the ground.
Hillis did not participate much in practice last week, recovering from the bumps and bruises that were sustained after his 102-yard day in a winning effort against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was one where the Browns did not complete a pass for the last 27 minutes of the game, relying entirely on Hillis and his ability to forcefully gain yardage both off-tackle and over center Alex Mack.
“Peyton played quite a few snaps and I thought he did some good things with the snaps that he had,” Eric Mangini said on Monday afternoon. ”He caught a touchdown pass, he ran the ball pretty effectively, and he had a couple really nice runs I thought. When he’s out, the next guy that goes in, whether it’s Jerome [Harrison] or whoever that next person in needs to be able to execute at a high level.”
Alas, fans will see Hillis’ name on the injury report all week as they head into their match-up with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Given that the team will be going to battle with Colt McCoy and Brett Ratliff as options under center, and Pro Bowler Josh Cribbs may or may not be fully healthy, they will need Hillis to be as healthy as possible if they are looking to have any sort of sustainable success on the offensive side of the football.
The Browns, as it stands, have not won in Pittsburgh since 2003. The quarterback? Tim Couch.
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