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Hillis misses Browns' Friday practice with illness

Peyton Hillis was a no-show at Cleveland's practice on Friday due to illness and has been ruled questionable for the Browns' game against the Dolphins on Sunday.

Coach Pat Shurmur said Hillis felt ill when he arrived Friday morning at the team's facility.

"Whatever it is, we don't feel like it will affect him on Sunday," Shurmur told The Associated Press. "We felt the best course of action was to just send him home and give him the best opportunity to get as much rest and fluids as we could."

The up-to-now fragile and untested Montario Hardesty took the bulk of reps in Friday's first-team practice, The Plain Dealer reported, with Hillis -- in the middle of contract talks with the team -- nowhere to be seen. 

It's been ages since the Browns housed a backfield threat like Hillis (he's the biggest thing to hit the Flats since these guys roamed old Municipal Stadium). What we've seen of the team's offense in his absence is not encouraging.

The Browns are in position to open the season 2-1 for the first time since Butch Davis coached them to a 9-7 record in 2002. Incidentally, that start led to the team's only playoff berth since the franchise rebooted in 1999.

With a late-season schedule that includes four meetings with the Steelers and Ravens over their final five games, the Browns can't afford to drop home games against winless opponents.

Notes: Cleveland's Josh Cribbs is questionable with a groin injury. Offensive lineman Tony Pashos and wideout Mohamed Massaquoi are both questionable with ankle injuries. For the Dolphins, cornerback Vontae Davis has been ruled with a hamstring injury. Safety Chris Clemons and nickel back Will Allen are questionable with hamstring injuries. Defensive end Tony McDaniel is out with a broken right hand.

For a full team-by-team breakdown of the league's latest injury news check out NFL.com's Injury Report.

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