Hillis missed his third straight game Sunday, this time in Houston. That is where the Browns offense stayed offensive in a 30-12 loss to the Texans. Hillis re-injured his hamstring at practice Friday and underwent an MRI afterwards. The team kept the results private. But when Hillis returned to the training facility his leg was wrapped and he walked with a limp.
For now the Browns are in a dilemma. They need Hillis on the field, but he is unable to play. Yet they are growing tired of his antics and are considering placing him on injured reserve, thus giving up on the season and letting him try free agency after the season.
Peyton is currently in the final year of a $600,000 per year contract. Reports in Cleveland say Hillis has turned down an offer from the Browns for three years at $16.5 million. So what Hillis wants is a mystery. Especially considering he is on his third agent in less than 12 months.
This hasn’t been an easy 6 months for Hillis, and not only are the fans up in arms about him but so is the team. Troubles began when Hillis chose to speak publicly about negotiations for a new contract. That upset the front office and caused confusion and upheaval with the locker room.
Next he missed the Sept. 25 game against Miami with strep throat, a game Hillis admits he missed on the advice of his agent, Kennard McGuire. The players questioned this act as a possible contract ploy. Later it became an even bigger issue when Brown center Alex Mack played in a game despite an appendicitis attack that required surgery the following day
Mack then returned after the bye week to play in San Francisco, yet Hillis couldn’t play. In fact, the story broke Hillis went to Arkansas to get married and missed rehab sessions for his injured hamstring. He returned and practiced the next day, but aggravated his injury and sat out the game in San Francisco.
According to Yahoo Sports and the AP, this past week Hillis was confronted by his teammates because of his attitude and their concern over it. It was described as a “very positive conversation.” And the players were convinced it went over well with Hillis and some even saw a difference on Thursday. Then came the hamstring re-aggravation Friday.
Sunday the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the team has a growing concern about Hillis and the situations surrounding him. They are unhappy with his attitude and his inability to heal quickly or play through injuries. They don’t doubt his talent, but his heart has now come into question.
The Browns appear ready to place him on IR and let him go after the season. Obviously this kind of move would not be popular among the Browns fans, especially if a team like Pittsburgh picks him up and suddenly Hillis begins to play at the level he played last season.
Browns fans could then see him play twice a year. Almost as many times as they see him on the field now.