Receiver Brian Hartline’s season ended just when it was picking up steam.
Hartline was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after undergoing successful surgery by head team physician Dr. James Voos at University Hospital. He suffered a broken collarbone Sunday while making a catch in the 24-10 win over the 49ers.
The Browns (3-10) signed running back Daryl Richardson to fill the roster spot.
Hartline, 29, played in 12 games in his first season with the Browns. He had 46 catches for 523 yards and two touchdowns.
After a slow start and a missed game because of a concussion, he found a groove. In the last four games, he averaged 7.5 receptions and 85.3 yards. He led the team with eight catches for 107 yards against the 49ers.
“It is truly amazing the amount of support I’ve received the last 2 hours from Browns fans, Buckeye fans AND Dolphins fans. Thank you all!” Hartline tweeted after the injury was announced following the game.
“It’s a big loss for us,” coach Mike Pettine said Monday.
Hartline, a Canton native and Ohio State alumnus, signed with the Browns as a free agent after spending the first six years of his career with the Miami Dolphins. He said last week he was happy with his decision to come home despite Cleveland’s poor record.
“I love being back in Ohio,” he said. “I didn’t expect this kind of season this year but overall quality of life, being around my friends and family, being around Northeast Ohio and really playing a sport I love, there’s definitely no regrets.”
Richardson (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) is in his third season after being drafted by St. Louis in the seventh round in 2012. He appeared in 24 career games, with three starts, with the Rams in 2012-13, totaling 690 rushing yards on 167 attempts and 38 receptions for 284 yards.
He’s been on the practice squads of the Jets and Titans this year.
He could fill in for third running back Glenn Winston, who’s in the concussion protocol after getting hurt Sunday.
** Running back Isaiah Crowell is a finalist for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award after rushing for 145 yards (7.3 average) and two touchdowns against the 49ers.
St. Louis’ Todd Gurley (140, 8.8, two) and Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy (124 yards, 5.2, one) are the other nominees.
** Outside linebacker Nate Orchard was nominated for Pepsi Rookie of the Week after sacking Blaine Gabbert twice, the first two sacks of his career.
Gurley, Seattle receiver Tyler Lockett, Arizona running back David Johnson and Philadelphia receiver Nelson Agholor are the other nominees.
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