The Cleveland Browns are hurting at the running back position with both Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb out, so a solution could be to bring in a former 1,000-yard rusher in Marlon Mack before the trade deadline.
A recent article from Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski breaking down possible trades for teams with the deadline approaching linked Cleveland to Mack, who has fallen out of the running back rotation in Indianapolis. Here’s why Mack appears to be a fit, per B/R:
Eventually, both [Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt] will be back in the lineup; however, the Browns can’t be caught in the same position again. Interest in Marlon Mack becomes a necessity to keep the team afloat. Mack is no longer a featured part of the Indianapolis Colts’ running back rotation, and he’s operating under a one-year deal. But he’s only 25 years old and two years removed from a 1,000-yard campaign.
Mack has not had more than 10 carries in a game this season and is averaging just a tick over five per matchup with the Colts. Indy has turned the majority of the run game work over to second-year back Jonathan Taylor, who has been on quite the tear lately, cracking 100 yards in two of the last three weeks and notching four touchdowns over that span.
But Mack has proven to be a viable option, notching a 1,000-yard season in in 2019, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and finding the end zone eight times.
Chubb, Hunt Hard to Replace For Browns
Missing both Chubb and Hunt is a tough blow for the Browns, turning their two-headed monster into a headless one. D’Ernest Johnson and rookie Demetric Felton will carry the load on Thursday with Hunt and Chubb sidelined.
“I have learned a lot. Those guys are two of the best backs in the league,” Johnson said on Oct. 19. “They run very hard. They do a lot of great things. It is always great to sit behind them, learn and pick out different things that you can bring to your table.”
Hunt went on injured reserve, which means he’ll miss at least three games with what looked like a serious calf injury. Chubb appears closer to returning, although he’s missed the last two weeks. With 523 yards, the Georgia product remains the league’s second-leading rusher despite missing last week and splitting some of the duties with Hunt.
Odell Beckham Possible Trade Bait at Deadline
When it comes to trade rumors, Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is a constant figure. He also landed on Bleacher Report’s list as a possible target for the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. Sobleski writes:
If general manager Andrew Berry decides Beckham isn’t useful enough to warrant the entirety of his $14.5 million base salary, the Jaguars have more available salary-cap space than anyone. Beckham would give this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, Trevor Lawrence, a No. 1 receiver. Plus, the 28-year-old target remains under contract for two more seasons to grow with the young quarterback.
Beckham is coming off a torn ACL but is now dealing with a shoulder injury. He will play on Thursday against the Broncos. Beckham has not been able to find his niche in the offense and has not appeared to be on the same page with quarterback Baker Mayfield. His career in Cleveland to this point has included 26 games, 1,557 yards and seven touchdowns.