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There was his meeting with some of the Browns’ team leaders, who confronted him about being a distraction and missing treatments for his injury when he went to Arkansas last month to get married during a work week. Hillis then re-injured his hamstring in practice, two days before he had hoped to come back.

It’s been a mess, one Hillis hopes to clean up.

“Things happen,” he said, dismissing the suggestion his season has been a “nightmare.”

“I guess when more people are looking at you everything seems more severe. I’ve got to be responsible and understand that as well, that no matter what you go through, you’ve always got to keep a good mindset and try to go through it as best you can.

“As far as this year, goes, I just look at like bumps in the road you have to overcome. That’s in life with everybody.”

For the past six Sundays, Hillis has been reduced to the role of cheerleader. It’s been agonizing to stand on the sideline in sweats and watch. It’s pained him not to be able to help his team.

“It’s awful,” he said.

Hillis believes his recovery was hastened by a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection into his injured hamstring. It’s a treatment that involves extracting blood from patients and re-injecting just the plasma. The procedure is not prohibited by league policies, said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

“It’s supposed to make you heal a lot faster than what it was and that’s obviously what it did,” he said. “It’s been 2 1/2 weeks since the shot and I’m steadily improving day by day.”

With his smash-and-dash running style, Hillis ran for nearly 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, his first with the Browns, who acquired him in a trade from Denver. He became an instant favorite with Cleveland fans, who helped vote him onto the cover of the Madden 12 video game, giving him national exposure.

But there’s been nothing but problems this season, leading some to speculate that fame has gone to Hillis‘ head and changed him.

Hillis doesn’t think so.

“I’m still same guy,” he said. “You get a few bumps in the road and you have to rebound from that and do your best on and off the field. Hopefully you can go out when you can and play ball and I don’t care who you are, when you go out and you do well, it’s going to make you feel better as a person and on this team.”