Kareem Hunt removed from 'Madden' video game in wake of violent video, Chiefs release

Running back Kareem Hunt, the 2017 NFL leader in rushing yards, has no team in real life, having been cut by the Kansas City Chiefs following a release of a video depicting him assaulting a female in a hotel hallway. And now he has no virtual team either: Hunt has been removed from the popular EA Sports game "Madden."

A week ago, Hunt was set to play against the Raiders in a game that likely would have featured him being a prominent piece in the Chiefs offense. By Friday afternoon, he was released by Kansas City, after TMZ published a video depicting Hunt aggressively going after an unknown female party in a Cleveland hotel, an incident that occurred back in February. 

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By this past Wednesday, per CNN, EA published an update to the popular football video game removing Hunt and replacing him with a generic player with similar attributes and statistics. 

"We have removed Kareem Hunt from the Madden NFL 19 roster, Madden Overdrive and Madden Ultimate Team," an EA Sports spokesperson said in a statement to CBSSports.com. "Any of our players who currently have Hunt on their Ultimate Team will receive a replacement generic player with identical stats."

This is not uncommon for EA to do. The company removed Ray Rice from the game after his domestic violence incident -- one that bears a remarkable resemblance to Hunt's in how it was handled from an investigation and reaction-to-the-video standpoint -- back in 2014. 

A perusal of the game rosters shows Hunt indeed is no longer on the Chiefs roster, although simply dropping a player isn't unusual. Hunt also isn't available in the franchise mode under free agents. Any generic player available in the MUT phase likely isn't available to anyone -- only simply as a replacement. 

Hunt is currently being investigated by the NFL for multiple incidents, making it increasingly likely he will be suspended for a lengthy period of time. The former third-round pick out of Toledo is currently on the Commissioner's Exempt List, preventing him from playing until the league concludes its (renewed) investigation. 

The running back appeared in an interview with Lisa Salters of ESPN last Sunday morning, repeatedly apologizing for his actions and saying the person seen on the video was not him. 

"I'm asking for forgiveness and I definitely believe I deserve forgiveness," Hunt said. "Everything is really happening fast right now, and I just want everybody to forgive me."

Despite clearing waivers and remaining an unrestricted free agent with little/no interest from other teams, it's likely Hunt eventually finds his way back onto a roster in the NFL. It will probably be 2019 before it happens, but the running back led the league in rushing in 2017 and is still a young and talented player. 

This could all change depending on the NFL's investigation, but NFL teams have repeatedly shown a willingness to look past off-field concerns for on-field production as long as the public relations backlash isn't too excessive. Give time for Hunt's situation to move towards the public outrage back-burner and he'll be back on a team at some point. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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