(Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb will undergo season-ending knee surgery, coach Kevin Stefanski announced Tuesday.
The Browns believe Chubb injured multiple ligaments in his knee during Monday's 26-22 setback to the host Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Like we talked about last night, Nick has a knee injury that will require surgery that will end his season," Stefanski said in a Zoom call Tuesday. "... Very disappointed for Nick. He means a lot to this team, he means a lot to this organization. So, he will be missed but he will bounce back, I have no doubt of that."
Stefanski confirmed Jerome Ford will serve as the featured back while the team looks to add another rusher. As for possibly reconnecting with free-agent Kareem Hunt, who was Cleveland's second-leading rusher last season, Stefanski said the following:
"We're [in the] early stages at looking at different options right now, so I can't really speak on to anybody specific."
Chubb rushed up the middle for a gain of 5 yards with 14:14 left in the second quarter and was in the process of being tackled by Pittsburgh linebacker Cole Holcomb when safety Minkah Fitzpatrick dropped his shoulder and ran directly into Chubb's left knee.
The hit by Fitzpatrick caused Chubb's leg to bend, and Chubb sat up and grabbed his knee and could be heard yelling in anguish through the field microphones.
Chubb, 27, rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries before exiting. He has 170 yards on 28 carries this season.
The four-time Pro Bowl selection topped 1,000 rushing yards in each of the past four seasons, including a career-high 1,525 last season. Chubb had 996 yards as a rookie in 2018 before beginning his streak of 1,000-yard seasons.
Ford, 24, replaced Chubb on Monday and gained 106 yards on 16 carries and also caught a touchdown pass. Pierre Strong also ran for a touchdown for the Browns (1-1), who host the Tennessee Titans (1-1) on Sunday.
Hunt, 28, had 468 yards and three touchdowns on 123 carries during the 2022 campaign, also hauling in 35 catches for 210 yards and a score.
--Field Level Media