Browns bench Trent Richardson

Cleveland running back Trent Richardson was benched during Sunday's game. (REUTERS)

Cleveland running back Trent Richardson was benched during Sunday's game. (REUTERS)

Bill Lankhof, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:41 AM ET

The Cleveland Browns drafted Trent Richardson to become their game-breaker.

Sunday, Richardson had eight yards on eight carries, plus 11 yards on two catches in the first half.

Then, head coach Pat Shurmur anchored him to the bench.

Now there are two possible reasons. He might have re-injured the ribs that forced him out of last week’s victory over the Bengals.

Or he might just be in the doghouse. Shurmur indicated Richardson hadn’t reinjured his ribs and that he had benched him in favour of Montario Hardesty.

Speaking to reporters, Richardson flip-flopped between saying he was OK to go back into the game and saying the coaches made the right decision to leave him on the bench.

The Browns future hinges on Richardson developing into an effective every-down back. The Browns need him to anchor their ground game. Perhaps Shurmur believes Hardesty is better right now, but he is not the Browns’ future.

Imagine: Controversy and the Browns. They go together like white on rice.

COLTS BETTER THAN ADVERTISED

Peyton who?

Andrew Luck may not have Indianapolis fans forgetting the iconic Peyton Manning. Yet.

But, the Colts’ rookie quarterback has proven to be even better than advertised in his NFL debut season.

Luck became the first Colts quarterback to run for two touchdowns in a game since 1988, leading Indianapolis past Cleveland 17-13 on Sunday.

It pushed the Colts’ record to 3-3, already giving them one more win than in all of 2011.

The game brought together two first-round rookie quarterbacks. Brandon Weeden threw for two touchdowns and 247 yards for Cleveland in what was a tight battle.

The difference might’ve been that Luck had a running game with Vick Ballard punching through for 84 yards. Cleveland’s Trent Richardson, with eight yards, had to retire at halftime with a rib injury.

Curiously, with two rookie quarterbacks, there were no interceptions. But Cleveland missed an extra point and Adam Vinatieri hit a 38-yard field goal — as Luck would have it.

VITT HAS HIS WORK CUT OUT FOR HIM

Evidently you can go home again. And Joe Vitt can’t wait.

Vitt has been

Mr. Lonely since being banned by the NFL in the Bountygate scandal. Football for him has never been a profession. It has been, as it is for so many professional coaches, a lifestyle.

The Saints’ interim head coach’s six-game suspension expired after Sunday’s game and he isn’t wasting any time. He met the team at the airport in Tampa for the flight back to New Orleans.

Vitt’s suspension marked the first time in 44 years he had not coached football. How much did that hurt?

Well, remember when you had that double scoop ice cream cone, got a couple good licks in — dropped, and lost it to the trusty family pooch.

“I missed these guys so bad,” said Vitt, who plans to go to his office in New Orleans on Sunday night.

Job One: Find the Saints’ defence.

Even with Jonathan Vilma back in the lineup Sunday, the Bucs sTill ran out to a 21-7 lead. Just wondering: Can’t anyone play this game without a bounty?

 

VIKINGS D’ GETS IT DONE

The Chicago Bears might want to look over their shoulders.

Jared Allen and his Vikings’ teammates are not going away. The Vikings’ defence was dominant Sunday, winning a game in which quarterback Christian Pounder passed for just 58 yards.

Of course, having Adrian Peterson helps. But the 21-14 win over St. Louis was dominated by the Vikings’ defence.

Harrison Smith ran back a pick-six for 31 yards less than a minute into the third quarter.

Brian Robison was in Skelton’s backfield all day, recording three sacks. Allen forced a punt deep in Cardinals’ territory with his fifth sack of the season near the end of the third quarter. By then the Vikings were already up 21-7, frustrating the Skelton-led offence.

Allen had two sacks, forced several bad throws, and now has a sack in each of his last five games. The Viking defence had six sacks over-all, including a game clincher on fourth down by Kevin Williams with 6:21 left.

As Skelton floundered, Pounder wasn’t having an auspicious outing either. In the second half, with 12 minutes to play, he had a mere four yards passing. But he did have Peterson, who had 23 carries for 153 yards and a touchdown.

The Vikings continue their climb back to relevance and are just a mistake by the Bears from sitting atop the division.

VINCE YOUNG GETS CALL FROM CARDINALS

They love me; they love me not. And, so it is that Vince Young rises again from the football dead.

But, Halloween does beckon. So maybe it makes sense.

Good thing for him, the Cardinals are almost as desperate to find a quarterback as Young is to find another team.

So, Young — who looked like he was done in the NFL when he couldn’t beat out Tyler Thigpen and Tarvaris Jackson in Buffalo — will get a tryout Tuesday with Arizona.

The Cardinals lost starter Kevin Kolb for up to two months and have only rookie Ryan Lindley on the roster behind John Skelton. And Skelton — like when he threw the pick-six into Harrison Smith’s hands to candy-coat a 21-6 lead for the Vikings — isn’t scaring anyone except his own team.

Skelton’s best play was the hand-off, and a really good hard-count that drew a couple of offside penalties. So, Young is in with chance.

Young, whose future seemed unlimited after he led Texas to a Rose Bowl victory in 2006, has been back home in Houston, embroiled in a suit against his former advisors. Not only has he lost his livelihood, but most of the $26-million contract he signed has also disappeared.

Young looked awful in a pre-season game when Steelers’ Troy Polamalu intercepted his first pass ... and, then it got worse. Since being cut by the Bills, he has been working with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr., who also worked with Andrew Luck and Cam Newton, in hopes of reviving his career.

With the Cardinals’ quarterback carousal back in motion, this could be his last, and best chance.

 


Videos

Photos