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Posted on: September 19, 2023, 11:51h.
Last updated on: September 19, 2023, 11:57h.
The Cleveland Browns lost All-Pro running back Nick Chubb to a gruesome knee injury during a Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2.
The Browns fear that Chubb sustained a season-ending left knee injury in the second quarter during a run inside the red zone. Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick crashed into Chubb while he was getting tackled by a teammate.
Obviously it’s a huge loss,” said Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper. “Nick is the engine of the team. Best player on the team. I’m very sad for Nick, sad for this team losing Nick. Not only is it not ideal, it’s a tragedy.”
Without Chubb in the lineup, the Steelers defeated the Browns, 26-22, in an AFC North divisional battle.
Chubb was the third-highest running back selected in most fantasy football leagues, including Yahoo! and ESPN. Only Christian McCaffery (San Francisco 49ers) and Austin Ekeler (Los Angeles Chargers) were picked higher than Chubb entering this season.
Jerome Ford is the next man up in the rotation. The second-year running back rushed 16 times for 106 yards after Chubb went down with his injury. Ford also added three receptions for 25 yards and one receiving touchdown in Monday’s loss.
The Browns selected Ford with a fifth-round draft pick out of Cincinnati. Ford saw limited action as a rookie last season.
Another Knee Injury for Chubb
In the season opener, Chubb rushed 18 times for 106 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals, but he didn’t score any touchdowns.
Prior to his knee injury, Chubb tallied 64 yards on ten rushes against the Steelers.
It f—ing hurts,” said demoralized Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.
Chubb sustained a left knee injury in 2015 during his sophomore season in college with the Georgia Bulldogs. He tore his MCL, PCL, and LCL and underwent reconstructive knee surgery.
Chubb recovered in time for his junior season at Georgia, and he appeared in 13 games in 2016. He returned to his old form during his senior season in 2017, when he rushed for 1,345 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games.
Some NFL scouts were cautious about Chubb and his injury history, which is why he slipped to the second round. The Browns took a flier on Chubb with an early second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Chubb showed promise as a rookie in 2018 with the Browns. He rushed 192 times for 996 yards and scored eight rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns.
Since 2019, Chubb rushed for more than 1,000 in each of the last four seasons. He scored at least 12 rushing touchdowns twice in his career in 2020 and 2022. Last season, Chubb rushed for a career-best 1,525 yards on 302 carries.
In 77 games with the Browns, Chubb rushed 1238 times for 6,511 yards and 48 touchdowns. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry in his career. Chubb was not a big contributor to the passing game during his tenure with the Browns. He caught four receiving touchdowns and tallied 123 receptions with 1,011 receiving yards.
Betting the Browns Without Chubb
The Browns slipped to 1-1 after the divisional loss to the Steelers (1-1) on Monday Night Football. The Baltimore Ravens hold down first place in the AFC North with a 2-0 record, and the Bengals are in last place at 0-2.
The Bengals were the consensus favorite to win the AFC North for a third consecutive season. But they have yet to win a game this season with a banged-up Joe Burrow.
The Ravens are the new betting favorite to win the AFC North at +100 odds, followed by the Browns (+330), Bengals (+475), and Steelers (+550). The Ravens lost their starting running back, J.K. Dobbins, to a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1.
The Browns are -145 odds to miss the playoffs, and +115 to secure a spot in the postseason.
Before the season began, the Browns had a win total of 9.5 over/under this season. Oddsmakers temporarily pulled the Browns off the board after Chubb went down with his knee injury, but the prop bet returned on Tuesday morning. The current win total for the Browns is still 9.5 o/u.
The Browns host the Tennessee Titans (1-1) in Week 3, and opened as a -3.5 favorite. The Titans are 2-0 against the point spread this season, and the Browns have a 1-1 ATS record.