Chubb went down in the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football and was carted off the field. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed that Chubb is set to have surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
“You don’t replace Nick Chubb,” Stefanski said. “You just don’t do that. Great players in the league, you look around, they go out. It’s always not one person that replaces a player of [Chubb’s] caliber. So, everybody’s got to do a little bit more, a little bit more everywhere.”
Stefanski also noted that the Browns are in the market for a running back and are investigating their options. The Rams have been shopping Akers and he was a healthy scratch last week against the San Francisco 49ers. He rushed 22 times for 29 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ opener against the Seattle Seahawks. The Rams have turned the top running back duties over to 2022 fifth-round pick Kyren Williams.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com confirmed that the Browns have been one of the teams who have inquired about Akers. NFL insider Jordan Schultz added that the Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also looked into trading for Akers.
“In terms of Akers, the Browns are one of a handful of teams that have inquired, and they might have an edge over some of their competitors because Akers is represented by Deshaun Watson’s agent David Mulugheta,” Cabot reported on Tuesday, September 19.
Akers, 24, had his best season as a pro last year. In 15 games with nine starts he rushed for 786 yards and nine touchdowns. He posted a per-carry average of 4.2.
Browns Also Looking Into Reunion With Kareem Hunt
If the Browns were to trade for Akers, they’d have to give up something in return. If the team opts to look to free agency instead, Kareem Hunt is someone the Browns are interested in bringing back. Hunt briefly spoke on his Browns tenure this offseason, confirming they went their separate ways on good terms.
“The Browns are always going to be a team I have mad love for, but I’m not really talking about that stuff,” Hunt told Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald. “I’m in God’s hands and just looking forward to the next opportunity. It’ll be coming up soon, I’m pretty sure.”
“In Cleveland, he knows the scheme inside and out, and can catch the ball out of the backfield, which is a huge plus in this offense,” Cabot reported.
Browns Say Jerome Ford is Lead Back With Nick Chubb Out
Part of the reason the Browns decided not to bring back Hunt was that they wanted to turn over the backup duties to second-year running back Jerome Ford.
With Chubb now out of the picture, Hunt could be a complement to Ford, who rushed for over 100 yards against the Steelers after Chubb went out.
When asked if Ford is now the feature back in Cleveland, Stefanski replied with a simple, “Yes.”
The sample size for Ford is not a large one. He had just eight carries for 12 yards as a rookie. So far this season, Ford has run the ball 31 times for 142 yards.