Browns running back Montario Hardesty will start in place of injured Trent Richardson. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Cleveland Browns will start quarterback Thad Lewis and running back Montario Hardesty in team's season finale Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur announced Friday.
Rookie starting quarterback Brandon Weeden and backup Colt McCoy have been dealing with shoulder injuries and running back Trent Richardson missed practice again on Friday with an ankle injury and is unlikely to play. Richardson has run for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, while Hardesty has 51 carries this season for 234 yards and one touchdown.
Lewis, a third-stringer who has not played this season, took all the snaps with the first-team offense during the morning practice on Friday. Lewis will be making his first NFL start and is facing a Steelers' defense that is ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL in yards allowed. The team signed free-agent Josh Johnson this week to be Lewis' backup.