Not only did the Cleveland Browns suffer their first defeat of the season Monday night, but they also lost the heart and soul of their offense. During the second quarter of a 26-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Nick Chubb was carted off the field after suffering a season-ending knee injury on a hit from Minkah Fitzpatrick.
While Chubb has since been placed on injured reserve due to that gruesome knee injury, there has since been some early optimism news surrounding the back's ailment. Initial tests conducted on the Chubb leave room for hope that he did not suffer a torn ACL, according to ESPN. However, the report does also note that doctors do believe the ACL was stretched on the play and that he may still be dealing with a torn MCL. Chubb's recovery timeline is reportedly between six and eight months.
Of course, the full scope of Chubb's injury will be revealed once he undergoes surgery and the medical team can see the damage firsthand. As NFL Media reports, Chubb could still undergo full ACL reconstruction if the surgeon examines the injury during surgery and determines that there is enough damage to go forward with the reconstruction procedure.
ESPN's broadcast team initially elected not to show the replay, but one could hear the gasps from the crowd at Acrisure Stadium when it was shown on the jumbotron. The crowd then done for the season.by cheering for him as he was carted off to the locker room. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski later confirmed that Chubb is
With Chubb out, Stefanski said that backup Jerome Ford, who rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries against the Steelers, will now be the team's "featured back."
However, the team did sign a familiar face, bringing aboard veteran Kareem Hunt to help cushion the blow of Chubb's absence. Hunt played for the Browns for the previous four seasons and has immense knowledge of the playbook so he should be a plug-and-play addition to the backfield. In 17 games played last season, the 28-year-old rushed for 468 yards and three touchdowns while catching 35 passes for 210 yards and another score.
Of course, no player alone can replace what Chubb does. The 27-year-old rushed for over a thousand yards in each of the previous four seasons coming into 2023 and had 170 yards rushing (6.1 yards per carry average) up until his injury this year.
Cleveland takes on the Titans at home in Week 3.