Browns head coach Eric Mangini said Thursday that RB Jerome Harrison will "probably have some opportunities this week" vs Atlanta after the former first-string tailback didn't carry once vs. Cincinnati in Week Four, and Mangini indicated that Harrison had not fallen out of favor with him.
Asked Thursday if Harrison was in the "doghouse," Mangini said, "No, not at all," according to an interview transcript provided by the team.
Peyton Hillis, who rushed for 102 yards on 27 carries vs. the Bengals, is now listed as the first-team running back on the club's depth chart, which is as of Oct. 4. Harrison is the second-team back.
"To me, Peyton played really well last week and he got more opportunities, but it's not a function of Jerome being looked at any differently," Mangini said, noting he hadn't met with Harrison about his role.
Hillis secured the starting job by rushing for 144 yards on 22 carries at Baltimore in Week Three with Harrison out with a thigh injury.
The way we see it
Hillis has impressed as the Browns' featured back, so it will be up to Harrison to try and earn a complementary role for the time being. Harrison is quicker than Hillis and has the ability to be effective in a limited role. Harrison did, after all, rush for 561 yards in the final three games last season. However, to contribute, Harrison must take care of the football and capitalize on his opportunities, which will clearly be fewer in number.