With Nick Chubb out, Johnny Stanton should get the chance to shine.
Nick Chubb will not play for the Browns on Sunday, neither will Andy Janovich, who went on IR. Kareem Hunt is banged up and may also be out for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals (as of this writing). All signs should be pointing to promoted practice squad player Johnny Stanton to not only get the start at fullback but to be a featured ball carrier as well come game time.
The Browns will still carry Demetric Felton and D’Ernest Johnson but if Hunt is out, then the game plan is going to be interesting. Felton has yet to take a handoff this season, and Johnson hasn’t shown to be that dynamic at all. A solid running back, sure, but missing the X-factor. So they’re not exactly big-time commodities in the running game.
This sets up Stanton to have an opportunity to showcase his skills. He’ll be in the Browns backfield as a starter for at least the next three games depending on Janovich’s hamstring
This is Johnny Stanton’s time to shine for the Browns
With Chubb out and Hunt’s status up in the air, Stanton should get some opportunities as a ball carrier on Sunday against the Cardinals. This is not a passing team by design, the onus is to rush the ball 30 times a game it seems and the Browns will need some extra help to get there, even if Hunt does indeed play.
Now Stanton’s flexibility is easily one of his best attributes. He can play tight end, linebacker, quarterback, fullback, or running back. The problem that he’ll face is that he can’t play both fullback and running back at the same time.
More likely if Stanton does get handoffs, it’ll come in the single-back formation, with two or more tight ends. That’s usually how he was used in the preseason as a runner and should be how Cleveland uses him come Sunday should they give him any amount of handoffs, assuming it’s not out of an I-formation.
In that case, they’d just give it to him up the gut on a dive.
We’re pulling for Stanton to step up because the Browns are going in without the NFL’s best pure runner at the position in Chubb. If Stanton struggles, then it’s likely the Browns will struggle too.