Browns Insider Delivers Bad News on Nick Chubb

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb is still recovering from knee surgery.

Getty Images Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb is still recovering from knee surgery.

It could be a while before Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb is looking like himself on the field again.

Chubb suffered a devastating season-ending knee injury in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s required a pair of surgeries, the last coming in November. The timeline for Chubb’s return is uncertain, although the team is confident he’ll see the field at some point next season.

But even if he does return, Browns insider Terry Pluto of doesn’t expect to see the Chubb of old for a bit.

“It’s doubtful Chubb will be ready for the start of the season. He had two major knee surgeries within three months,” Pluto said in his Q&A column on Friday, February 9. “I hope he plays some in 2024. We probably won’t see the best of the post-surgery Chubb until 2025.”

Chubb has been the heartbeat of the Browns’ offense since arriving as a second-round pick in 2018. Through six seasons Chubb has rushed for 6,511 yards and 48 touchdowns. His career 5.3 yards per carry is among the league’s elite.

Chubb has been quiet since his surgery, although he’s not much of a talker anyway. However, he did spent some time around the team facility. He even made a cameo as the Dawg Pound Captain for the Browns’ final home game.

Browns Have Contract Decision to Make With Nick Chubb

The Browns will look to rework Nick Chubb's contract this offseason.

Getty ImagesThe Browns will look to rework Nick Chubb’s contract this offseason.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry appropriately dubbed Chubb’s contract situation as the “elephant in the room” during his season-ending press conference.

Chubb will count nearly $16 million against the cap next season. It’s a big number for a running back coming off major knee surgery with an uncertain timetable for a return. The Browns could save $11.825 million if they released Chubb.

The Browns will look to rework Chubb’s deal this offseason. The hope is that Chubb will rebound and remain with the team for the foreseeable future.

“In terms of Nick moving forward, obviously, I understand that’s a little bit the elephant in the room,” Berry said on January 22. “Nobody wants to see that carry in Pittsburgh, be the last time he carries the ball for the Cleveland Browns. And obviously there are things that we’ll have to work through, but that would not be our intention as well. We obviously will work to keep him on the team.”

Kareem Hunt Not Expected Back With Browns

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt will be a free agent this offseason.

Getty ImagesCleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt will be a free agent this offseason.

The Browns turned to a running back committee following Chubb’s injury. That cohort included Jerome Ford, Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong Jr. Both Ford and Strong are under contract for next season but Hunt will be a free agent.

Hunt finished the season with 411 yards on 135 carries, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry. He made his most significant contributions in short-yardage situations. Hunt recorded a team-high nine rushing touchdowns during the regular season and scored two more — one receiving and one rushing — in the Wild Card loss to the Houston Texans.

Hunt has expressed a desire to be back in Cleveland but Pluto doesn’t see that playing out.

“I don’t think Hunt will be back. They like Ford, but I expect them to shop for (or draft) a young running back,” Pluto wrote.

Hunt spent the first few weeks of the season without a team. The Browns came calling following Chubb’s injury.

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