The Cleveland Browns survived a late comeback from the Cowboys, but the result did not come without consequence. During the first quarter of Sunday's 49-38 victory, running back Nick Chubb was blocking on a pass play when defensive tackle Trysten Hill rolled up on his ankle after offensive guard Wyatt Teller wrestled him to the ground. The result of that play is a trip to injured reserve, coach Kevin Stefanski revealed Monday. Chubb will miss "several weeks" according to Stefanski, but the injury will not require surgery. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport adds that the running back is expected to miss six weeks and could return in November.
Chubb had six carries for 43 yards prior to the injury. He played just 14 snaps in the win. Following his injury, the Browns turned to a trio of running backs: Kareem Hunt, D'Ernest Johnson and Dontrell Hilliard. Each played at least 20% of the team's offensive snaps and combined for 185 yards on 29 carries (6.4 yards per carry). As a team, Cleveland rushed for 307 yards.
"Credit to the players. [We] had varying run schemes going there, had different guys toting the rock," Stefanski said Sunday after the game. "I think [offensive line] Coach [Bill] Callahan does an outstanding job putting the plan together, and all the coaches really contribute to that. Stuck with the plan and had some explosive runs, but credit to the players."
Expect Hunt, who has been battling a groin injury, to receive the bulk of the carries moving forward. He received a two-year, $10.83 million contract extension in September. Despite an uptick in opportunity coming his way, Hunt was disappointed to see his teammate leave the game.
"The offensive line is doing a great job. The running backs, [run game coordinator/running backs] coach Stump [Mitchell] has been telling us what to do and ways to make the most of each and every run. We are working as a team. I am proud of those guys up front. Hopefully, we get [Chubb] back soon. He is a brother to me," Hunt told media Sunday.
Chubb, in his third year out of Georgia, is the NFL's second leading rusher despite playing only 19% of the team's offensive snaps against Dallas. Six teams have only played three games, with four of those slated to play Monday night and the Titans and Steelers having their Week 4 game pushed back later into the season. Chubb's bid for the league's rushing crown is all but over now.
The Browns are off to a 3-1 start with the lone loss coming at Baltimore. They return home to FirstEnergy Stadium this weekend to face the Indianapolis Colts.