Browns Playmaker Undergoes Surgery for Previously Undisclosed Injury: Report

Kareem Hunt, Browns

Getty RB Kareem Hunt of the Cleveland Browns.

Injuries ravaged the Cleveland Browns roster this season — mostly in ways that were obvious, but also in a few that weren’t.

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported on Tuesday, January 30, that running back Kareem Hunt had successful surgery to address an injury that plagued him for much of the year.

“Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt recently underwent sports hernia surgery to repair a ruptured adductor, sources told ESPN on Tuesday,” Fowler wrote.

The franchise didn’t hide Hunt’s adductor problem, though the seriousness of it was not made evident via the team’s weekly injury report.

“Hunt was listed on the Browns’ injury report with a groin issue for much of the season,” Fowler reported. “He played through the injury and finished with 10 rushing touchdowns, including one in Cleveland’s wild-card loss to Houston. Typically a ruptured adductor can sideline players for at least six to eight weeks and require immediate surgery. Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson fought through a similar injury last season en route to the Super Bowl.”

Kareem Hunt Unlikely to Return to Browns Next Season

The Browns could roll with Kareem Hunt for another year as Nick Chubb works his way back.

GettyCleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt.

Hunt rejoined the Browns following a season-ending knee injury suffered by starter Nick Chubb in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had been with the team as Chubb’s backup for each of the previous four years, though Cleveland chose to let Hunt walk in free agency ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Hunt finished the regular season with 15 appearances for the Browns, including two starts. He tallied 411 rushing yards and 9 TDs on the ground along with 15 receptions for 84 receiving yards, per Pro Football Reference.

Despite that production, Hunt put up a career-worst average of 3 yards per carry while serving largely as the backup to Jerome Ford. The second-year running back played well enough that the Browns might even consider moving on from Chubb this offseason if he refuses a pay cut. Cleveland can save $11.8 million by cutting or trading the four-time Pro Bowler, and Ford appears capable of stepping into a full-time starting role.

Hunt is open to returning to Cleveland in 2024, though he plans to test the waters in free agency for a second consecutive year. Even if the Browns end up as Hunt’s first choice, it is unlikely the franchise will bring him back considering Ford’s play and Chubb’s contract situation.

Kevin Stefanski Praises Kareem Hunt for Providing Browns Necessary Boost After Nick Chubb’s Injury

Kareem Hunt, Browns

GettyRunning back Kareem Hunt of the Cleveland Browns.

Though Hunt’s time in Cleveland may finally be over after five years, the organization at large has publicly praised the running back for his contributions over that time.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski spoke about Hunt during his end-of-year press conference on January 14.

“I’m so appreciative of him and the way he played and the style with which he played,” Stefanski said. “Obviously, pre-injury to Nick, we didn’t have a spot. But to Kareem’s credit, he stayed in great shape. We brought him in, worked him out. He looked great, picked back up the system right away and played really good football for us. … He provided huge value for us, and he’s a battler.”

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