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Trent Richardson out for Browns' game against Rams

The Cleveland Browns will kick off their preseason without the services of Trent Richardson.

Coach Rob Chudzinski confirmed Wednesday that the Browns' featured back won't play Thursday against the St. Louis Rams, Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reported. Richardson has been held out of team drills since he was kicked in the right shin during practice last Thursday.

The decision comes as no great surprise. The Browns have been exceedingly cautious with their second-year back all offseason. Chud confirmed Richardson could have played in a regular-season game and stressed that he isn't concerned about the runner's durability, per Cabot.

It's a sound decision, considering offensive coordinator Norv Turner plans to feed Richardson 300 carries and target him 60-plus times in the passing game in 2013. Still, Richardson has dealt with a string of lower-body ailments this offseason, and lingering concern exists over his ability to enter the season at 100 percent. There's no questioning his toughness, but we have yet to see him fully healthy in an NFL game.

The Browns also will be without safety T.J. Ward (hamstring), which won't help their reshaped defense against Tavon Austin and the Rams.

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