The Cleveland Browns saw another big name on the sideline when Sheldon Richardson missed practice on Thursday.
The big defensive tackle signed a a three-year contract worth $37 million with the Browns this offseason and is slated to start on the line alongside Larry Ogunjobi and defensive ends Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon.
The team revealed after practice that Richardson, who’s entering his seventh NFL season, is dealing with an abdomen injury. He joined defensive end Vernon — who the Browns traded for this offseason — on the sideline. Other sitting out included running backs Duke Johnson and Kareem Hunt.
The injuries shouldn’t be too serious. The new Browns D-line duo spoke to NFL Network’s Willie McGinest after Wednesday’s practice and seemed to be in good spirits.
Richardson has missed just two games in the last three seasons. He’s coming off a year with the Minnesota Vikings where he totaled 49 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Defensive Line Depth an Issue For Browns
The depth behind Ogunjobi and Richardson is thin at tackle. The first rotational player behind the duo is Trevon Coley, whose 50.4 overall grade by Pro Football Focus was good for a 126th-place finish out of 129 qualifying defensive tackles. He took first team reps with Richardson out.
Larry Ogunjobi Expected to Have Big Season With Browns
The Browns believe in Ogunjobi to fill a key role on the defensive line. Last season while playing through a bicep tear, Ogunjobi started all 16 games, recording 5.5 sacks and 52 tackles. He also had 15 QB hits and 10 tackles for loss.
Ogunjobi’s His Pro Bowl defensive line partner Myles Garrett sees big things coming for him this season.
“I don’t think people have been able to see all of Larry,” Garrett said this offseason. “I think that first year we both were just getting our first looks at the NFL. Some people come in and have this gigantic splash, some people just got to smoothly transition into it and I think he made that large leap last year, he was just a little bit hindered (by a torn biceps). I think he’s out for a breakout year.”
Garrett has also been vocal about what he expects from himself this season. He’s is coming off a Pro Bowl season where he notched 44 total tackles, including 35 solo stops, playing in all 16 games. He also recorded 13.5 sacks, coming up just a half-sack short of the tying Reggie Camp’s 35-year-old single-season franchise record.
Garrett — a former No. 1 overall pick of the Browns — established himself as a star last season, but was vocal about his frustrations after landing at just 49 on the NFL’s Top 100 list. Recently at training camp, Garrett was asked how he thinks the league will view him when he shows everything he’s capable of.
“As the best defensive player in the league – that is the goal. That is the only way to stamp your name in the history books,” Garrett said. “If you are the best defensive player, you have to win Defensive Player of the Year. That is always the goal. If I don’t win that, it is about being a team player and taking my team to the Super Bowl.”