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Trent Richardson practices for Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Sunday that first-round draft pick Trent Richardson (knee) was very close to returning to practice.

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The 2012 No. 3 overall draft pick proved Shurmur right Monday, when the running back returned to the practice field for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9, Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reports.

Richardson appeared "completely healthy" while going through individual drills and catching passes, and he was getting some reps with the first-team offense during the portion of practice that was open to the media, according to Cabot.

Richardson missed the preseason, but returning to practice Monday is a positive step that puts him on track to make his NFL debut against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

"If Richardson is ready to go, he will be our starter," Shurmur said.

Richardson's status for the Eagles game should clear up later this week, but considering how much time he's missed, he'll likely split the carries with Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson.

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter _@brianmcintyre_.

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