Browns RB Nick Chubb suffered MCL injury, will go on IR

The Browns’ strongest engine is headed to the garage.

Nick Chubb suffered an MCL injury in Sunday’s win over the Cowboys, coach Kevin Stefanski announced Monday, and will go on injured reserve. The team does expect Chubb back at some point in the 2020 season, Stefanski added.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Chubb is expected to miss roughly six weeks, including Cleveland’s bye week, putting him on a path to return in November.

Chubb suffered the injury in the first half of Cleveland’s Week 4 victory when he was rolled up on from behind by Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill, who was taken down to the ground by Browns guard Wyatt Teller. As Hill hit the ground, he collided with the outside of Chubb’s right knee, which bent in awkwardly.

Chubb walked off the field and did not return to the action.

The loss of Chubb is a massive one. The NFL’s second-leading rusher in 2019 was again near the top of the league entering Week 4 and appeared stronger than ever as part of a run-first attack in Cleveland that was dominating opponents on the ground with Chubb leading the way.

Thanks to the contributions of Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, Dontrell Hilliard and even Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns still rushed for over 300 yards as a team Sunday, with Chubb accounting for 43 of them on just six carries. Hunt made two trips to the end zone on the ground as part of a scoring run that saw the Browns put up 34 unanswered points.

Instead of having the luxury of utilizing Chubb as the steady, tackle-breaking lead back and Hunt as the knockout punch as they have in recent weeks, the load now shifts to the shoulders of Hunt. So far, he’s proven capable as a versatile back, rushing 50 times for 275 yards and three touchdowns and catching eight passes for 42 yards and two scores in 2020.

Hunt’s presence lessens the blow a bit, and Cleveland didn’t miss a beat without Chubb Sunday, but time will tell how much the loss of the 2019 Pro Bowler affects the Browns in the long term.

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