Browns Predicted to Shake Up RB Room With Jerome Ford Cut

The Cleveland Browns may have some difficult decisions to make in their backfield.

Getty Images The Cleveland Browns may have some difficult decisions to make in their backfield.

The Cleveland Browns‘ backfield could look very different next season and Jerome Ford may need to fight for his roster spot.

Ford took on the lead back role last season when Nick Chubb went down with a season-ending injury in Week 2. The results were mixed and Ford lacked consistency. He finished the year with 813 rushing yards on 204 carries with 4 touchdowns.

The Browns added a pair of solid veterans this offseason in Nyheim Hines and D’Onta Foreman. John Kelly and Pierre Strong Jr. are also in the mix. Chubb’s return timeline is still uncertain, so the depth will be needed, especially at the start of the year.

However, Ford is not a lock to make the roster. Jack Duffin of the Orange and Brown Report has the third-year running back on the bubble. His final 53-man roster prediction has Foreman, Hines and a soon-to-be-made draft pick making the cut. Chubb would be a later addition who joins once healthy.

“I don’t consider Strong or Kelly as candidates to make the final 53, they probably land on the practice squad,” Duffin wrote. “This leave Hines, Foreman and Ford as the three to make the team, this could all change with a draft pick. I could certainly see them add someone during the draft which would force one of Foreman or Ford off the roster, then the other departing when Chubb returns. I would say a draft pick is in play but they don’t need to force the decision like some other positions.”

Browns Confident in Running Back Depth

Browns running back Jerome Ford may be on the roster bubble.

Getty ImagesBrowns running back Jerome Ford may be on the roster bubble.

Ford was a fifth-round pick of the Browns in 2022. He saw almost no work during his rookie year and was thrust into the spotlight after Chubb’s injury. Ford proved capable but is not likely someone the Browns will groom to be a future lead-back.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry was very complimentary of Ford and Strong when asked about their production last season. However, he also noted his confidence in the Browns’ depth at the position.

“Depth is important at every position, we were really pleased with that room last year. I thought Jerome and Pierre in particular did an incredible job filling in last year,” Berry said. “They got obviously a lot of time and a lot of reps last year and feel very good about their skill sets. We’ve added a couple of guys to that room with differing skill sets that can complement those guys, but we think we’re in a pretty strong spot.”

The Browns have a new direction on offense. Ken Dorsey was hired as offensive coordinator to replace Alex Van Pelt. The running backs also have a new position coach in Duce Staley.

Browns RB Nick Chubb Making Progress

The Browns are happy with the progress Nick Chubb has made with his rehab.

Getty ImagesThe Browns are happy with the progress Nick Chubb has made with his rehab.

When Chubb returns to the backfield, it will make the conversation of depth more of a moot point. When healthy, Chubb is one of the most consistent offensive weapons in the league.

But there is the chance that Chubb never looks like the back he once was. The injury required a pair of surgeries. He also injured the same knee while in college.

That being said, Chubb and his superhuman physical gifts cannot be doubted. The Browns are happy with what they’ve seen so far with his return progress.

“He’s really attacked it very aggressively, really since he’s been able to in the fall,” said Berry. “He’s going at a good pace. It’s still early. He actually started running on land this past week. That’s not to say that he’s through the woods or anything, but he’s doing everything in his power. He’s progressing appropriately, but certainly the next few weeks, next few months will be big as we continue to increase the load that he’s able to put on his knee, and then how much he’s ultimately able to do during his training.”

Through six seasons, Chubb has rushed for 6,511 yards and 48 touchdowns. He’s averaged 5.3 yards per carry over his career.

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