Cleveland, OH – A formidable blow was dealt to the Cleveland Browns during their Monday night game, when they lost not only their first match of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but also their offensive frontliner, Nick Chubb. The second quarter of the game saw Chubb exit the field on a cart, a consequence of an appalling knee injury sustained during a hit by Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The severity of the situation became apparent soon after, when the capacity crowd at Acrisure Stadium collectively gasped as the incident was replayed on the big screen. The audience showed their solidarity with Chubb and cheered him on his way to the locker room.
The Browns head coach, Kevin Stefanski, revealed on Tuesday that Chubb has suffered a severe knee injury, which includes multiple torn ligaments, effectively ending his season. With the absence of Chubb, Stefanski stated Jerome Ford, the backup who managed 106 yards on 16 carries during the Steelers game, will become the primary running back for the Browns. Furthermore, Cleveland plans to recruit another player for the position, with free agents Kareem Hunt and Rams’ Cam Akers considered as potential replacements.
Chubb, a four-time Pro Bowler, had rushed 64 yards in 10 carries before sustaining the injury. He made a commendable 106 yards on the ground for the Browns in their Week 1 victory over the Bengals.
Chubb’s departure is an undeniable setback for the Browns as they entered Monday’s game with sincere prospects of securing a playoff position. To mitigate the loss, the Cleveland team will be considering replacements. Kareem Hunt, for instance, boasts an expansive familiarity with the Browns’ playbook, having spent the previous four seasons with the team. He could seamlessly integrate into the backfield, based on his performance of 468 rushing yards and three touchdowns, along with 35 receptions for 210 yards and an additional score, in the 17 games of last season.
Similarly, Leonard Fournette appears to be in a comparable situation as Hunt. Fournette, another seasoned NFL player, remains unsigned and also brings versatility with his ability as both a runner and receiver. His record of 1,191 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns, along with 73 receptions for 523 yards with the Buccaneers last season suggests he could be an excellent fit in the Browns’ lineup.
Lastly, reports suggest that Cam Akers’ relationship with the Rams has been strained, having been inactive despite being healthy, indicating that he might be placed on a trading block. Considering Akers’ past performances, such as rushing 786 yards (4.2 yards per carry) in 2022 with seven touchdowns, he might serve as an excellent addition to the Browns backfield post-Chubb.
It’s evident that the Browns are considering several options to replace Chubb in a bid to keep their playoff hopes alive for the season. Decisions made now could significantly influence the team’s direction moving forward.