Browns Star RB Puts Ravens on Notice Ahead of Return From Injury

Getty Images Kareem Hunt of the Cleveland Browns.

The first 11 weeks of the NFL season have left the Cleveland Browns battered and bruised, but the team could receive a shot in the arm as early as this weekend with the return of one of its top playmakers on offense.

Kareem Hunt is projecting a return to game action in time for the Browns’ matchup against the Baltimore Ravens under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football, and the running back said he’s got something for the division leaders when he does.

“I’m going to come back and bring the fire,” Hunt told Mary Kay Cabot, of, in an interview Tuesday, November 23.

Hunt Thought Calf Injury Had Ended His Season

GettyKareem Hunt of the Cleveland Browns is helped off the field by team medical personnel.

When Hunt hit the deck with a calf injury against the Arizona Cardinals back on October 17, he thought that might have been it for his season.

“I didn’t know at the time what it was,” the running back told Cabot. “I thought my season could’ve been over.”

Luckily for Hunt, and for the Browns, he was forced to miss only five games. The initial diagnosis was that he would be sidelined for between four and six weeks.

“I’m actually coming along very well,” Hunt continued. “I’m excited. It’s been a little journey, but I’m feeling pretty good.”

“I’ve never had to do something like this before,” he added. “It’s tough being injured, being on the sideline and not being able to contribute. So it’s definitely a hard thing.”

Injuries have proven hard things for the Browns’ entire roster this season, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Hunt’s backfield running mate, Nick Chubb, has already missed two games with a calf issue of his own and was also sidelined two Sundays ago after being designated as a close contact by way of the league’s virus protocol.

Wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones have each missed multiple games this season due to various health concerns, which is to say nothing of the rash of injuries sustained by several members of the offensive line over the course of the tumultuous year.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield has missed just one start but is, by his own admission, dealing with more physical ailments currently than he has at any point in his NFL career.

“I’ve got to find a way to get as healthy as possible,” Mayfield told the media following a Browns loss to the New England Patriots on November 14. “Pretty beat up right now.”

Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb

GettyBrowns standouts Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are arguably the best RB tandem in football when healthy.

Despite the laundry list of injury concerns, the Browns find themselves right in the thick of not just the hunt for the NFL Playoffs, but also for the pursuit of the AFC North Division crown.

Cleveland is currently occupying the North’s cellar with a record of 6-5. But the Ravens, who sit in first place, are just 1.5 games ahead of the Browns — with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers sandwiched in between them.

Hunt’s return timetable is as optimal as it can be considering he missed more than a full month of action, as the Browns’ next two games are both against the Ravens. Also optimally timed is Cleveland’s bye week, which will come December 5 and will break up the two contests against Baltimore.

The Browns finish the season on the road against the Steelers in Week 17 and at home against the Bengals in Week 18, providing more than enough opportunity for Cleveland to determine its own postseason destiny. Relative health, however, will certainly go a long way toward positive results, and that starts with Hunt returning to the lineup Sunday night.

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