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Holmgren sees 'a chance' Richardson plays in opener

Barring unforeseen disaster, Brandon Weeden will line up under center when the Cleveland Browns host the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener. Who Weeden will hand off to remains as cloudy as ever.

Rookie running back Trent Richardson hasn't practiced in weeks or played in either of the team's two preseason games after having his knee scoped earlier this month.

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Browns president Mike Holmgren told SportsTime Ohio, via The Plain Dealer, that "there's a chance" Richardson will be ready for the Sept. 9 tilt, but the team is reluctant to rush him back.

Richardson will run in a pool Wednesday and might do the same out of water next week. The team's first-round pick "should be back on the field doing something next week," Holmgren told the site.

Even if he's healthy for Week 1, this isn't what the Browns had in mind.

Richardson will need to be eased into action upon his return, meaning you're going to see a heavy dose of Montario Hardesty early in the year. Hardesty works -- in theory -- spelling a premier back, but he's never proven he can stay healthy or manage a lead role. Weeden, as much as anyone, needs Richardson back in the lineup. Until he returns, we're not going to see this offense bloom.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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