Ahead of Sunday's return to Cleveland, Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson said the Browns "gave up on him" last season.
Saturday's game will be Richardson's first in Cleveland since the trade. He was traded to the Colts in September 2013, less than two seasons into his NFL career after being the Browns' No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft. Speaking to Cleveland reporters on Wednesday, Richardson admitted he was "shocked" by the trade.
"They gave up on me," Richardson said. "I'm going to go into this game like it's my last one."
Richardson did thank the Browns "for taking a chance on him," according to Cleveland.com.
Since coming to Indianapolis, Richardson has faced criticism for his production in Indianapolis since the trade. Last season, he lost his starting job and averaged only 2.9 yards per carry in 14 games with the Colts. This season, Richardson is averaging 3.3 yards per carry.
Richardson has started 10 of 11 games this season, and while Colts head coach has supported Richardson -- reportedly answering, "Cause he's our starting running back," twice in a 10-second span on Wednesday -- backup running back Daniel "Boom" Herron has come on strong in the last two games, rushing 12 times for 65 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars and eight times for 88 yards vs. the Washington Redskins.
Richardson said Wednesday he recognizes his critics but remains upbeat.
"A lot of people are saying, 'He's a mistake. He's this. He's that,'" Richardson said. "Well, watch these next four weeks, because it ain't like I've been playing bad football."
- Mike Fiammetta