The Cleveland Browns lost Nick Chubb for a few weeks due to an MCL injury, but the Browns running game is deeper than one man.
Nick Chubb is absolutely needed if The Cleveland Browns are going to go deep into a postseason run. An idea that’s not out of the realm of possibility, especially when looking at the team’s schedule. Between Oct. 11 and Dec. 6, the toughest teams the Browns play are the Colts, Steelers, and Titans. Frankly, only the Colts and Titans have a defense worth talking about through four weeks. In fact, one could argue the Steelers aren’t very good on either side of the ball, making them ripe for the picking.
That’s why it’s ok that Chubb will miss some time due to an MCL injury. The Browns have a slew of bad teams ahead of them and an apparent scheme that doesn’t require an All-Pro back for the system to be effective. This isn’t meant to minimize Chubb’s impact but no one knew who D’Ernest Johnson was before Sunday, and he came in and put up over 7.3 yards a carry on Sunday.
Clearly, it’s not a hard system to execute
Sure Johnson isn’t going to put up over seven yards a carry against the Colts or Titans but he might against the Jaguars or Texans. Plus, he’s not the only running back the team can call upon. Kareem Hunt has been earning every dollar of that contract. Yes, his off-field issues still concern many, but his on-field skillset is still undeniable.
The only issue that comes up is the fact that now Hunt will be the primary runner in the system. Hunt’s greatest gift to this team was his diversity as a runner or pass-catching option. While he can still fulfill both roles, he won’t be able to take a few plays off anymore, meaning his legs won’t’ be as fresh for the passing game.
It’s unlikely but still possible the Browns hit 300 yards rushing again this season, but even if they don’t, the tea is going to be fine (not great but fine) without Chubb as he recovers. This system is built for more than just one person.