Browns running back Ben Tate will regain his starting role once he's healthy enough to return to action, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal reported Wednesday evening.
The 26-year-old suffered a sprained ankle injury in a Week 1 loss to the Steelers. He was initially ruled out two to four weeks.
Tate will return to the position because running backs coach Wes Montgomery said, "that's what we brought Tate here for, to be the starter."
“That’s what we brought Tate here for, to be the starter. He’s the No. 1 running back in this offense. Right now, you can say we miss him. We miss his experience. We miss his leadership with the group. Speaking from that standpoint, we’ll be open arms and welcome to have Ben back into the fold.”
The running back signed with Cleveland after last season when he rushed for 771 yards and four touchdowns, of which three came in a Week 13 matchup with the Patriots when he went for a season-high 102 rushing yards. He had spent the previous four seasons with the Texans.
Undrafted rookie Isaiah Crowell will still see a heavier workload once Tate returns, according to Ulrich. Crowell has 27 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns.
Cleveland plays next on Sunday on the road against the Titans. The Browns are 1-2 after after losses vs. the Steelers and Ravens and a win in Week 2 vs. the Saints.
- Marc Weinreich