Kareem Hunt got his first action as a member of the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, starting the team’s second preseason game and getting a nice chunk of work against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Browns first play of the game was a designed screen for Hunt, but it didn’t quite develop and quarterback Garrett Gilbert — who started for Baker Mayfield — fired it into his shins.
Hunt’s first carry went for two yards, but showed off some of what made him the NFL’s leading rusher in 2017 on a powerful outside run.
The Browns are trying to find a reliable backup option for Nick Chubb for the first eight games of the season when Hunt serves his suspension. Dontrell Hilliard is next up on the depth chart but sat out the game against the Colts dealing with a hamstring injury. D’Ernest Johnson spelled Hunt on the third drive and had a nice run of 11 yards to kickoff his afternoon.
Kareem Hunt Frustrated With Suspension
Hunt will miss the first eight games of the season while serving a half-season ban for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. It stems from from a disturbing incident where he was caught on video kicking and shoving a woman in a Cleveland hotel, leading to his release from the Chiefs.
These final few weeks of the preseason will be very important as Hunt tries to pick up as much as he can of the playbook and build chemistry with his new teammates. Hunt wishes he had more time, but is taking it in stride.
“It is pretty frustrating, but I take it day by day and do what I can control,” Hunt said.
Hunt missed the first part of training camp with a groin injury, but was activated just before the Browns scrimmage. Browns coach Freddie Kitchens has been impressed with what he’s seen from Hunt so far.
“Kareem really came back [Wednesday] for the first time with meaningful reps,” Hunt said. “You see the ability, and I think everybody sees it.”
Hunt is still working his way back, but feels good about where he’s at.
“It is a lot of natural ability, and I am still getting a feel,” Hunt said. “I would not say I am at my peak, but I am working my way back.”
Kareem Hunt , Nick Chubb Form One of NFL’s Best Backfields
When Hunt does return, he’ll be working in a tandem with starter Nick Chubb, who has impressed so far this preseason.
During a joint practice with the Colts, Chubb ripped off a massive 65-yard run, showing off some elite athleticism on a jump cut. It’s what
“I think during the evaluation process, you saw the speed and you saw the agility,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters following Thursday’s practice. “He has one of the best jump cuts I have ever seen.
“I am not claiming I have seen every jump cut, so I am sure I am going to offend somebody with that. He has a good jump cut in the hole. He has great body control, balance and all the characteristics and skill sets that good running backs have. Yeah, we saw it.”
Hunt has racked up 2,151 rushing yards, 833 receiving yards in his first two seasons. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017 as the league’s leading rusher and was on pace for another strong season before being let go by the Chiefs.