Getty Images Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb was at the team facility on Wednesday.
The Cleveland Browns gave a brief update on injured running back Nick Chubb on Thursday ahead of an important game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Chubb has been out since September 18th when he suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has already undergone surgery on his injured ACL and is expected to undergo a second surgery soon to repair his ACL.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked about Chubb’s status on Wednesday, November 9th.
“He’s here today, but he’s doing well,” Stefanski said, noting that he doesn’t know when the ACL surgery will take place.
Chubb underwent surgery on his ACL on September 30 and the team said the ACL surgery will occur in the coming months. The estimated recovery time for Chubb suggested he “could return to play sometime during the 2024 season,” according to the Browns’ official website.
The injury has put the Browns in an interesting situation with Chubb, who has a $16 million cap hit next season. It’s the third-most in the league among running backs and Chubb no longer has any guaranteed money on his deal.
With the Browns set to find themselves in a cap battle next season – thanks in large part to Deshaun Watson’s $64 million cap hit – Cleveland will have to find ways to grab pennies. Releasing Chubb would only cost the Browns $4 million in dead money, but they could also rework his deal.
A lot of this depends on how much he can play next season. Before the injury, Chubb was in danger of becoming a standout in a declining running back market. Now the Browns must carefully navigate the situation with the back they love.
Kareem Hunt said Nick Chubb is doing ‘really well’
Chubb’s teammate and good friend Kareem Hunt gave an update on the four-time Pro Bowler on November 2nd.
“Nick is doing really well. “Y’all are actually taking some time away from me right now to relax with him,” Hunt said. “But Nick is doing really well. He keeps his spirits high. He’s working hard in the training room and I know he’s excited to get back.”
Chubb was on track for another outstanding season before suffering the injury. He only had 28 carries, but had already gained 170 yards with an average of 6.1 yards per carry.
The Browns have relied heavily on Chubb since he came to Cleveland as a second-round pick in 2018. In the 2022/23 season he managed 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns. It was his fourth straight season of rushing for more than 1,000 yards, and his career average of 5.3 per carry is among the league’s elite.
The Browns running game is in full swing
The Browns’ running game initially struggled without Chubb, but the ground game has rebounded in recent weeks. Cleveland ranks third in the league with 147.9 yards on the ground per game. It was a committee approach, with Hunt, Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong Jr. helping to carry the load.
“I think we’re learning,” Stefanski said. “Pierre arrived late to camp and was able to really understand how he fits in with us. Apparently Kareem was late but was in great shape. And we kind of know Kareem and know his abilities. And Jerome is still a young player, so it’s just part of getting to know his players and getting them involved if necessary.”
The Browns face a tough test this week against a stingy Ravens defense that is giving up just 10 points per game at home this season. Baltimore only allows 91.9 rushing yards per game.
JR DeGroote covers the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Lakers for Heavy.com. As a reporter for West Hawaii Today, he covered local and national sports and has decades of digital media experience with previous stints at SB Nation and Bleacher Report. He has won multiple state, regional and national awards for sports reporting and photography. More about JR DeGroote
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