Kareem Hunt’s tumultuous season hit a new low during the Cleveland Browns‘ 24-10 victory against the Washington Commanders on Sunday.
Hunt registered a season-low two carries against the Commanders, gaining no yards. He had one catch but it went for negative yardage.
Hunt was out-carried by rookie Jerome Ford, who had eight carries for 31 yards in the win. As per usual, Nick Chubb led the way for the Browns’ ground game, collecting 104 yards on the ground on just 14 carries — a 7.4 per-carry average.
There was a chance that Hunt wouldn’t even be active for the game. The Browns place practice squad back John Kelly Jr. on the active roster prior to the matchup and decided to have five backs active on game day.
It’s pretty clear that Hunt will not be part of the future in Cleveland, with the former rushing leader on the final year of his contract. Between trade drama and a lack of work, Hunt will likely explore other options where he can be more of a contributor. Meanwhile, the Browns are getting a look at what their backfield could look like next season, with Chubb as the workhorse and Ford as his primary backup.
Hunt does not contribute on special teams so it wouldn’t be a shocking move to see him inactive for the Browns’ finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Browns Have Been High on Ford’s Future
In all, Hunt has 119 carries for 455 yards this season. He’s also caught 32 balls for 195 yards and has four total touchdowns. Being sidelined won’t sit well with Hunt, who is ultra-competitive and wants to put as much on tape as possible heading into free agency.
The Browns selected Ford in the fifth round of this year’s draft out of Cincinnati. In his final year with the Bearcats, Ford rushed 214 times for 1,319 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Ford received his largest workload of the season against the Commanders and the Browns have been happy with the progression the fifth-round pick has shown.
“A really strong runner. Does a lot of really good things. Can catch the ball really well out of the backfield,” Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said on December 29. “Progressing well. Impressive when he does have the ball in his hands with what he can do with the run. Then going back to training camp of what he brings in the passing game as well with good hands and good route running ability.”
Browns Offense Clicks in Second Half Against Washington
The Browns’ offense put together their best half of the season with Deshaun Watson under center against the Commanders. After trailing 7-3 at half, Watson tossed a trio of touchdowns to help propel the Browns to victory.
“We had to wake up as a whole,” Watson said. “We came in at halftime, there wasn’t much to say. We knew what we had to do and we just had to make the game simple for us and that’s what we did.”
The Browns will get one final chance to leave an impression this season against the Steelers. And they’ll have some extra incentive, with the ability to end their rival’s playoff hopes.