3 Browns Trade Targets at Running Back Following Nick Chubb Injury

Three running back trade targets for the Cleveland Browns after Nick Chubb's season-ending injury.
Three running back trade targets for the Cleveland Browns after Nick Chubb's season-ending injury. / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Jonathan Taylor

Chubb's injury will not only disrupt Cleveland's 2023 season, but possibly beyond if the severity is too much to overcome. Unfortunately, that means the Browns have to consider not only immediate help, but players who could potentially take the Georgia product's place as well.

If GM Andrew Berry wants to inject some instant firepower into this backfield, then Indianapolis Colts star Jonathan Taylor makes a ton of sense to target.

Yes, Taylor is currenly on the Physically Unable to Perform list, but the circumstances around him being sidelined for the first four games of the year are murky. All accounts say he'll be activated from PUP as soon as he's eligible as well, which doesn't make this a huge concern.

Everyone around the league saw what Taylor is capable of not just as a starting RB, but as the focal point of an offense. He earned the NFL's Rushing Triple Crown in 2021, leading the league in attempts (332), yards (1,811) and touchdowns (18). The former Wisconsin standout also added another 40 receptions and 360 receiving yards, showcasing his dual-threat abilities.


There's an argument to be made that Taylor would an improvement over Chubb, which speaks to the talent of the former. That kind of upgrade doesn't come without a cost, however, and Indy is seeking a king's ransom for the playmaker.

The Browns by no means have a war chest stocked with draft capital currently, which complicates things. However, the pressure is on Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski to contend considering the money that's been spent on roster upgrades. They likely wouldn't last long enough to feel the future repercussions if a Taylor deal didn't work out as planned, so they can afford to take the gamble.

Taylor would fit like a glove in this offense, instantly taking over Chubb's workhorse role and providing an electric ball carrier who can lead this unit. With a player like Taylor in the backfield, opposing defenses would have to pay just as much respect to the rushing attack as they did with Chubb in the backfield.

Trading for Taylor comes with significant risk given his recent injury troubles and the cost to land him, but the reward could be undeniably worth it.

3. Rashaad Penny

No one can blame the Browns if they do go for a player that's easier to acquire than a former First Team All-Pro. Should they follow that route, Rashaad Penny presents another realistic target.

Penny is undoubtedly a threat when the ball is in his hands. He led the league with an average of a whopping 6.3 yards per attempt in 2021, and followed that up with a mark of 6.1 in 2022.

The rub with Penny is, he just can't stay healthy. Outside of his rookie year in 2018, the former first-rounder has never played more than 10 games in a single season. Most recently, Penny saw his promising start to the 2022 campaign upended by an ankle and fibula fracture, but he's also missed time due to an ACL tear, calf strain and several hamstring issues.

So far, Penny has stayed healthy with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he just hasn't been afforded much playing time. The veteran was inactive for Week 1 despite no injury concerns, then played in only 9% of the team's snaps in Week 2. Even worse, starter Kenneth Gainwell was out for the latter, but Penny got sidelined in favor of D'Andre Swift.

It's clear Penny doesn't have much favor from Philly's coaching staff right now, which presents an opportunity for a move. The Eagles have little reason to keep a fourth RB on the active roster when all backs are healthy, so they could be happy to get a conditional pick from Cleveland.

The tandem of Jerome Ford and Penny would give the Browns' backfield some serious big-play potential. They might not be as good at getting crucial singles as Chuub was, but they offer legit home run threats.

Cleveland has plenty of RB trade options to consider, and sports bettors should be considering signing up at BetMGM. They're handing out $200 in instant bonus bets to new users who use our link and place a first wager of at least $10. This offer won't last forever, though, so act now!

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