Chubb went down at the start of the second quarter on a routine run and did not get back up. The broadcast decided not to show a replay of the injury, in which it appears Chubb’s left knee is bent sideways in a hit from Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Audible gasps could be heard from the crowd at Acrisure Stadium when the graphic video was shown on the big screen.
The rival Pittsburgh crowd chanted Chubb’s name as he was carted off the field in a show of respect, and others took to social media to wish him the best.
“DAMN MAN!!!! Nick Chubb. Praying for the absolute best,” Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted.
Former All-Pro pass-rusher JJ Watt wrote, “Just the worst feeling. Gutted for Nick Chubb. Hope [Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick] is ok. Injuries suck man. They absolutely suck.”
Nick Chubb Has Been Steady Engine of Browns’ Offense
Chubb was ruled out the rest of the game with a knee injury but not much else was revealed by the initial report. Prior to the injury, Chubb was doing his usual damage against the Steelers, notching 64 yards on 10 carries.
Chubb has had fairly good injury luck during his six seasons in the NFL, only missing seven games. But in college at Georgia, he suffered a serious knee injury that required major surgery. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com pointed out that Chubb injured his left knee against the Steelers, which was the same one he had “completely reconstructed” in college.
The Browns have relied heavily on Chubb since he arrived in Cleveland back in 2018 as a second-round pick. He rushed for 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. It was his fourth consecutive season rushing for over 1,000 yards, and his career 5.3 per carry average is among the league’s elite.
With Chubb out, the Browns will rely on second-year back Jerome Ford to carry the load. It’s somewhat of a worst-case situation for the Browns, who saw veterans D’Ernest Johnson and Kareem Hunt depart this offseason. Ford would have been eased into the role with Chubb taking on the majority of work but he will now be the lead back.
Ford dealt with a hip injury during training camp and missed almost all of the preseason. However, the Browns have expressed confidence in Ford taking on a larger role.
“Jerome’s got a skillset that allows him to do anything and everything,” run game coordinator/running backs coach Stump Mitchell said after mandatory minicamp. “Pass protection, we worked a lot (on that) this spring, so that was the really the only thing we didn’t really have a good handle on because he didn’t do it a lot in college.”
Kareem Hunt Potential Option for Browns
The Browns will be in the market for a running back and a potential replacement could be Hunt, who remains a free agent. Hunt has had a few visits during training camp but did not sign with a team.
Hunt spent the previous four seasons with the Browns. In all, he rushed for 1,874 yards and added 973 yards receiving. He found the end zone 23 times during his time in Cleveland but his final year with the Browns didn’t go as planned.
He was embroiled in trade drama for the majority of the season, asking for a trade before the start of the year. His name was brought up frequently before the deadline, but ultimately, Hunt stayed put in Cleveland. However, his role was reduced down the stretch. He finished with 468 yards on 123 carries with a per-carry average of 3.8 — the worst of his career.