BEREA, Ohio -- Browns coach Pat Shurmur is "very optimistic" rookie running back Trent Richardson will play in the season opener on Sept. 9 against Philadelphia.
The No. 3 overall pick in April's NFL draft, Richardson has been sidelined since undergoing left knee surgery on Aug. 9. The former Alabama star has yet to play in any of Cleveland's exhibition games.
Shurmur said before Sunday's practice that Richardson has made "great progress" and expects him to be back on the field "soon." Shurmur wouldn't say what "soon" meant.
A team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter last week that Richardson was expected to play in the Browns' Week 1 game.
The Browns are likely to limit Richardson's workload until he has more time to heal from his most recent knee surgery, the source told Schefter.
Richardson had what the team termed "routine arthroscopic" surgery by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., on Aug. 9.
Andrews did a similar procedure on Richardson on Feb. 3 to repair a torn meniscus the running back suffered in the same knee while playing for Alabama during its BCS national championship victory over LSU.
The Browns lost to the Eagles 27-10 on Friday in their home exhibition opener. Cleveland will play Chicago at home on Thursday in its final preseason game.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.