On the first practice day of the 16th week, Peyton Hillis rested with a sore knee. He limped slightly in the locker room. Hillis and coach Eric Mangini downplayed the injury.
Both tried to ascribe Hillis' absence from practice as simply a day of rest. If that was the case, who could blame him?
The running back's 311 rushes and receptions and 1,598 total yards represent 38.5 percent of the Browns' offense. He has accounted for 34.6 percent of the team's first downs and 48 percent of its touchdowns.
Besides the physical workload, there's the strain of carrying the team's chances of winning on his shoulders in every game. That's got to take a toll.
"I feel great," Hillis said Wednesday. "It is a long season. It's tough on your body, but I think my body's holding up well. I don't see any differences from the beginning of the season.