Nick Chubb will miss Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals but the Cleveland Browns star isn’t expected to go on injured reserve, which would mean a minimum of three missed contests.
Chubb is dealing with a calf injury but there’s a chance he could turn around and play on the short-week Thursday after missing Sunday. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network first reported that the fourth-year running back will avoid injured reserve.
Chubb ranks second in the league with 523 rushing yards and has been a steadying force for the Browns offense that hasn’t been the most consistent through the air of late.
Browns Not Trying to ‘Kill’ Kareem Hunt
Luckily for the Browns, they have Kareem Hunt to take on more carries with Chubb out. With that being said, the Browns do not want to overextend Hunt with a massive amount of work, especially on a short week and Chubb’s status for Thursday uncertain.
“I don’t want to kill Kareem,” Stefanski told Pelissero.
“Never want to see a guy like Nick go down,” Hunt told reporters on Friday, October 15. “Definitely what he means to this team is crazy. We have a lot of good backs in this RB room. I feel like we should be able to hold it down until he gets back.”
Hunt and Chubb have never been about personal recognition and Hunt said he’s not embracing his backfield-mate being out.
“I do not embrace it. I love going out there and seeing Nick run and going out there and doing my thing, too,” Hunt said. “It will be a good game. I am excited to go out there and face a very good team.”
Browns 2 Starting Tackles Out Against Cardinals
The Browns had a laundry list of questionable players for Sunday but only tackles Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin are expected to miss the game against the Cardinals, per Pelissero.
In their absence, Blake Hance and James Hudson III will take over the starting roles for the Browns.
“I think the key to offensive line play overall is playing with confidence. If you play scared, it is very evident, and guys will take advantage of that,” said Hance, who started the Browns Wild Card game last year shortly after being signed. “No matter who you are or who you are going against, if you do not come out play fast, physical and confident, it is going to be pretty evident on tape. That is the only way you can play.”
Luckily for Hance and Hudson, they won’t have to deal with Cardinals pass-rusher Chandler Jones, who is out due to COVID-19 protocols. Still, Arizona has JJ Watt ready to make Baker Mayfield’s life tough.
“They are outstanding. They are relentless. Just watch the first game of the season, Chandler Jones was making plays all over the field, and if it was not him, someone else was being disruptive,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said this week. “Obviously, JJ Watt is a great player. He is going to get his hands up. He is going to try and bat balls. He is going to be disruptive. Across the board, I think their pass rush is outstanding.”
The Browns are 3.5-point favorites for the matchup.