Chris Hubbard will not be returning to the field this season for the Cleveland Browns, with the veteran swing tackle needing season-ending surgery for a triceps injury he suffered in the first week of the season.
The unfortunate news on Hubbard was first reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
“Browns OL Chris Hubbard is expected to have season-ending surgery on his triceps, sources say. The injury he tried to play through never quite healed, and this is the best course of action,” Rapoport reported in a tweet. “A hit to OL depth.”
Hubbard started 16 games for the Browns at right tackle in 2018 and 14 games during the 2019 season. However, he lost his starting spot when Jack Conklin came aboard as a highly-paid free agent last season. Hubbard will be a free agent after this season.
Hubbard’s injury is especially troubling considering the injury to starting left tackle Jedrick Wills, who has gutted through an ankle injury since the opener. The Browns have dubbed Wills as questionable for this week and he has not been on the field for practice.
“I love the way that he has battled through. He practices hard. He pushes through. When you are injured, it is constant 24/7 rehabbing,” Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan told reporters on Friday, October 8. “Coming into the room, he has his ice bucket right in the room. He is continually rehabbing and addressing his injury to get better. He has made great strides so I really hope for him that he will be ready.”
Browns Confident in Backup Linemen
With Wills exiting last week’s game and Hubbard banged up, the team turned to James Hudson III to protect Baker Mayfield’s blindside.
“He got a little work last week against the Vikings, which I thought was really positive,” Callahan said. “Browns offensive Any time a young guy can get on the field, it is invaluable. I think he has learned from that experience, and hopefully, he can build on it, as well. That is our plan for him.”
Another option for the Browns is Blake Hance, who is affectionately known as a “guy named Blake” by Mayfield. Hance filled in on the line during the Browns Wild Card win over the Steelers, just hours after meeting his QB for the first time.
“You look at a guy like Blake Hance who is an interesting guy. He is smart. He is dependable. He can get in all of the right positions. He can play across the board, and not many players can do that. He can play the tackle position. He can play the guard position and the center position. He is extremely versatile as an offensive lineman.”
Browns Rookie CB Greg Newsome Out Again
The Browns will also be without standout rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II against the Chargers. Newsome injured his calf against the Bears and hasn’t been able to get on the field since. In his absence, third-year cornerback Greedy Williams has stepped up, even nabbing an interception last week against the Vikings.
“He is definitely getting better,” Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods said on Thursday, October 8. “You can see the progress he is making in practice. I am always watching him as a DB guy, looking at his technique. Everything is tightening up for him. I think his confidence is really good. The matchups, it was a good game for him to play just to give him that confidence moving forward.”
The Browns are 2-point road underdogs this week against the Chargers.