Ogbonnaya inches closer to starting

Browns third-string running back Chris Ogbonnaya moved closer to making his first NFL start when starter Peyton Hillis sat out another practice with a pulled hamstring.

Chris Ogbonnaya

Chris Ogbonnaya

#25 RB
Cleveland Browns

2011 STATS

  • Rush17
  • Yds58
  • TD0
  • Rec10
  • Yds67
  • TD0

Running against Houston, which has the sixth-best run defense in the NFL, would be a major challenge for Ogbonnaya. He is a third-down specialist who is considered a marginal NFL prospect. Ogbonnaya would make his first start at Houston, where he was on the Texans' practice squad a month ago.

The Browns were hopeful that Hillis would return this week after missing the past two games. Backup Montario Hardesty is expected to be out at least two weeks after suffering a torn calf muscle last Sunday.

Ogbonnaya had 61 total yards when he replaced Hardesty last Sunday. He's had double-digit touches in two career games.

With the lack of depth at running back, the Browns signed Thomas Clayton after a tryout Tuesday.

Other Browns notes:

  • Hillis apologized for not showing up for a scheduled appearance at the Cleveland Boys and Girls Club Halloween party on Monday. "I just want to say I'm sorry about the charity event that happened yesterday with the Boys and Girls Club,'' Hillis told reporters Wednesday. "There was a lot of miscommunication between me and the management that I had, and if I knew the full depths of it, I wouldn't have missed it. I've always made community events before, (but) that shouldn't be an excuse now. Like I said, I'm sorry about everything, and hopefully in the near future we can be able to make that up.''

  • Wide receiver Brian Robiskie was claimed by the Jaguars a day after he was waived by the Browns. He is a 2009 second-round pick by Cleveland.