The former Alabama star was brought in to carry the rock morning, noon and night. We expect that to be the case, but coach Pat Shurmur told the Akron Beacon Journal after Tuesday's minicamp practice there will be "plenty of reps to go around" for the team's other backs, namely Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson.
The definition of "plenty" is fluid here. On paper, nobody on the current roster threatens to upstage Richardson.
Hardesty could be fighting for a roster spot after two disappointing, injury-soaked seasons. Jackson hasn't played a down for the team after missing all of last year with a turf toe injury. Chris Ogbonnaya -- who wasn't mentioned by Shurmur -- remains on the roster after showing promise in third-down situations last season, but remains a situational plug-in.
Cleveland has long lacked the type of durable back built to last a full season in the AFC North. Peyton Hillis showed flashes in 2010, but he imploded in 2011 before vanishing into the Kansas City night. Shurmur can talk all day about carries to go around, but if Richardson does what's expected of him, the supporting cast will be wheeled out infrequently.