Former Pitt running back Dion Lewis hopes to compete for time on the field with Cleveland Browns

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pitt running back Dion Lewis found a new home with the Cleveland Browns last year. Unfortunately, his season was over before it began when he was injured in a preseason game. Lewis didn't register a carry for the team after being placed on injured reserve and now he wants to find his way back in the mix in Cleveland's backfield.

Lewis, for his part, says he'll be ready to play:

"I’m still very excited to get back there and prove that I’m 100 percent recovered from the injury. With new coaches, everybody is learning a new system. So I feel like I’ve learned the system well, and I’m looking forward to getting out there and competing with the rest of the guys."

Lewis actually stands a reasonable shot to contribute, if he's healthy. The Browns shipped out former starter Trent Richardson and brought in veteran Ben Tate, who might be the odds on favorite to start. However, there doesn't appear to be a clear-cut No. 2 back just yet. Third-round pick out of Towson Terrance West could be the closest thing to it and he hasn't even logged a single carry in the NFL.

Lewis, if nothing else, should have a chance to play. That's especially true since new head coach Mike Pettine has said he plans to use a running back by committee approach.

So far, the former Pitt star hasn't played much in the NFL, last suiting up for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and 2012. But he has played in 24 games, racking up 171 yards and two touchdowns - and that limited experience might be enough to earn him playing time.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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