Update — Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed to reporters on Tuesday afternoon that Chubb will undergo season-ending knee surgery. In season-long formats that aren’t keeper/dynasty, Chubb is good to drop heading into waiver wire claims Tuesday into Wednesday.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski said Nick Chubb will require surgery on his knee. His season is officially over.— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) September 19, 2023
Update — The Browns fear Chubb could have a season-ending knee injury, per NFL Insider Justin Schultz.
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb was holding his knee after being roughly tackled near the endzone in the second quarter of the team’s Week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the events following him being down are more concerning. The crowd audibly groaned as the replay went up on the screen in the stadium, and the ESPN broadcast did not show the replay over the air. Chubb is out for the rest of the game.
This is the same knee Chubb injured in college against Tennessee in 2015.
Nick Chubb dislocated his left knee and tore his MCL, PCL, and LCL with cartilage damage on October 10, 2015 vs. Tennessee. He injured the same knee tonight vs. Pittsburgh.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 19, 2023
The Browns would go on to score a touchdown on a Deshaun Watson pass to Jerome Ford, who is the backup running back. Ford likely takes over as the lead running back in this game and for however long Chubb is out. Based on the reaction from the crowd and Chubb being carted off the field, that could be for a while. Pierre Strong Jr. is the third running back listed on the depth chart, although his potential usage is uncertain. Ford didn’t see the field much when Chubb was healthy, but the Browns could potentially go with the hot hand after using both running backs.
There’s also the potential for Cleveland to add a running back through the trade market. Jonathan Taylor and Cam Akers are both in trade conversations, and the Browns could look to target one of them if the price is right and Chubb is out for a long period of time. Leonard Fournette is a free agent and could also be available for the Browns. Kareem Hunt, who spent time in Cleveland, is also a free agent and could be a good fit since he does have previous knowledge of the scheme.
Chubb has been a monster for Cleveland since joining the team, averaging 5.3 yards per carry for his career. He’s had four straight seasons of 1,000 or more rushing yards and has double-digit touchdowns in two of the last three seasons entering 2023. With him being sidelined for what seems like a long period of time, the Browns are likely going to rely more on Watson and the passing game.