Browns Linked to Former Commanders RB as Nick Chubb Complement

Cleveland Browns star Nick Chubb could use some veteran help behind him on the depth chart.

Getty Images Cleveland Browns star Nick Chubb could use some veteran help behind him on the depth chart.

The Cleveland Browns have some questionable depth behind Nick Chubb but could bolster the unit by adding veteran running back JD McKissic.

McKissic is a free agent after spending the last three seasons with the Washington Commanders. He appeared in 35 games with 10 starts while in Washington, collecting 672 yards rushing yards and 1159 receiving yards to go with seven touchdowns.

As his stats indicate, McKissic is more of a threat catching the ball than rushing it, which is something the Browns could use following the departure of Kareem Hunt. McKissic was named by Bleacher Report as one of the players the Browns should pursue before the start of the season.

“If Cleveland wants somebody whose skill set could complement Chubb’s, then it could target J.D. McKissic, a pass-catching back who excelled in third-down opportunities over his three seasons with the Washington Commanders,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Rill wrote. “The 30-year-old McKissic may not be a game-changer for the Browns’ offense. However, he would be a nice player to have on passing downs, especially in those situations in which Chubb will need to come off the field for a breather.”

The Browns are expected to be more pass-heavy next season and Chubb has not been a large factor as a receiver. Having a veteran receiving back on the roster like McKissic could be a nice wrinkle for the Browns to add. The Browns also have cap space to spare, although McKissic would likely come on a very affordable contract.

Jerome Ford is Slated to be Backup to Browns Star Nick Chubb

The Browns have their reliable workhorse in Chubb but are relying on second-year back Jerome Ford to be his primary backup and third-down back. Ford didn’t see much work his rookie year, rushing just eight times for 12 yards. He did not catch a pass.

Ford was unable to get in a lot of work in the preseason due to a hip injury that cost him the majority of training camp.

“Just seeing everybody compete and not being able to be out there and compete and have fun with the team and gel with everybody while playing football, it was definitely disappointing,” Ford said on August 31.

However, Ford sounds ready to go for Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals and will take on any role he’s given.

“I don’t know the role yet but whatever role I’m given, I’m ready to do,” Ford said. “Coach been preparing all of us for everything. Whether Nick’s helmet come off or something or he will need a shoe tied on the sideline, we’ll be ready for whatever the situation is.”

Browns Traded for Patriots RB Pierre Strong Jr.

The Browns added another option to their backfield via a trade with the New England Patriots, landing them Pierre Strong Jr. Cleveland sent offensive tackle Tyrone Wheatley Jr. to New England in exchange for Strong.

Strong is a former fourth-round pick but found himself buried on the Patriots depth chart. Much like Ford, he doesn’t have much of a resume to speak of at the NFL level, carrying the ball just 10 times as a rookie for 100 yards and a touchdown. Strong added seven receptions for 42 yards.

“I’m versatile. My speed, my hands at the backfield block and just being an all-around back,” Strong said during his introductory press conference on August 28. “Like I said, speed. Just showing them – break away and get to the edges and just do anything they need me to do with the ball in my hands.”

Ideally, the Browns won’t have to rely too much on Ford and Strong. Chubb has been reliable over his career missing seven games in five seasons due to injury. He’s coming off a year where he set new career highs in rushing attempts (302), yards (1,525) and total touchdowns (13).

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