Browns Send Firm Message on Nick Chubb’s Return

The Cleveland Browns are taking it day by day with Nick Chubb.

Getty Images The Cleveland Browns are taking it day by day with Nick Chubb.

Nick Chubb continues to work relentlessly to get back on the field, but the Cleveland Browns have yet to reveal any timeline for their Pro Bowl running back.

Chubb is coming off a pair of knee surgeries, the latest of which was in November. Those procedures were after Chubb suffered a devastating knee injury in Week 2 of last season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chubb is attending the Browns’ offseason workouts but has been focused on his rehab. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski is unsure when they’ll have Chubb available, opting to keep his expectations vague.

“I don’t know if we’ll go past today and this week. That’s the way I’m looking at it,” Stefanski said on Tuesday, April 16. “I can promise you, he’s working hard, very early in the morning. He’s here. He’s attacking his rehab. That’s the best way I can put it. When he’s ready, he’ll be ready.”

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.

The Browns and Chubb recently restructured his contract. Chubb’s base salary was lowered from $15.85 million to $11.75 million. He can earn the money back through incentives. Cleveland will save about $9.5 million on the cap through the restructure.

Browns Wanted to Keep Nick Chubb Around

Keeping Browns RB Nick Chubb around was a priority for Cleveland.

Getty ImagesKeeping Browns RB Nick Chubb around was a priority for Cleveland.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry called Chubb’s contract the “elephant in the room” early in the offseason. However, the sides were able to reach an amicable deal for both sides.

Berry made it clear that keeping Chubb —a fan-favorite and elite talent when healthy —was their priority this offseason.

“I can say for myself, no one in the organization, I understand, our family, nobody wants to see that carry in Pittsburgh, be the last time he carries the ball for the Cleveland Browns,” Berry said in January. “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.”

The Browns did add some new faces to the running back room this offseason. Cleveland signed D’Onta Foreman and Nyheim Hines. They’ll join Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong Jr. on the depth chart.

Browns Have Praised Nick Chubb for Work Ethic

Browns RB Nick Chubb is a notorious workout warrior.

Getty ImagesBrowns RB Nick Chubb is a notorious workout warrior.

It’s no surprise that Chubb has been relentless in his rehab. He’s a workout warrior who often goes viral for his wild workout videos squatting otherworldly weights.

“I came into this season, on a terms of one to 10, with a respect of 10 for Nick. Coming out of this year, it’s a 20,” Berry said. “You would never think that was out for the season with the way he operated within the building. It was like he was doing two-a-day practices for rehab”

Chubb is expected to take the next step of his rehab soon with load running. But the Browns are being patient with their approach. Week 1 isn’t completely out of the question, but is unlikely.

“I think that as we think about it, until we see him in the next couple months, I think the next — call it three — months will be pretty telling in terms of his potential readiness for early in the season,” Berry said at the league meetings in March. “We are going to be conservative in terms of our approach in our assessment with building the roster because he is coming off of a major knee injury. But I do have to give him a lot of credit. He’s done a really, really nice job.”

When Chubb returns, he’ll have a new position coach. The Browns hired Duce Staley to replace Stump Mitchell this offseason.

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