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Hillis dismisses report of Browns locker room whispers

CLEVELAND -- Peyton Hillis returned to action after missing last Sunday's win over Miami with strep throat and flulike symptoms. He rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries in the Browns' 31-13 loss Sunday to the Tennessee Titans, but he had just two attempts after halftime as Cleveland was behind and forced to pass to get back into it.

During the week, Hillis explained that he lost weight while he was ill, and that he chose not to play after arriving at the stadium because he couldn't help the team.

On Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported there were whispers in Cleveland's locker room that Hillis' decision was influenced by his contract. Hillis is making $600,000 and wants an extension.

"That shouldn't be an issue," Hillis said when told of the report. "That's not an issue in my brain. I'll go out there and I'll play. But if I know I'm not 100 percent and I can hurt my team, I'm not gonna risk myself."

Shurmur said he was made aware of the report following the game.

"You would have to try to find out who is talking and about that because it didn't come from me," Shurmur said. "I don't know anything about that. Peyton was sick, that was my understanding."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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