Jerome Ford, Pierre Strong To Step Up After Nick Chubb Injury

Jerome Ford, Pierre Strong To Step Up After Nick Chubb Injury article feature image

Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Chubb #24 of the Cleveland Browns reacts after sustaining a knee injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Browns running back Nick Chubb left Monday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with an apparent knee injury at the beginning of the second quarter. Chubb had to be carted off the field after taking a high-low hit from two Steelers players and will not return to the game.

Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong Jr. are next up on the depth chart for the Browns, but it will be nearly impossible to replace the production of one of the best running backs in the NFL. Chubb has rushed for over 1,000 yards for the past four seasons and was four rushing yards away from a 1,000-yard rookie season.

What does Chubb's absence mean for Browns bettors? Action Network's Brandon Anderson give his analysis.

Nick Chubb Injury Analysis

In an era where running backs don’t matter as much, few backs matter more to their team than Nick Chubb.

Chubb is probably the best pure runner in the league, and he is absolutely central to this Browns team's identity. Kevin Stefanski’s offense is built around the run and the play-action it sets up.

The Browns' running back depth chart is pretty barren after Chubb, just sophomores Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them make a call to free agent Kareem Hunt, who played for this team the last four years. Cleveland could also be a potential trade destination for a back like Jonathan Taylor or Cam Akers. Or, maybe someone like Derrick Henry will become available as teams slip out of the playoff race .

The harsh truth is that as much as this sucks, it probably doesn’t downgrade the Browns as much as you’d think.

Cleveland has a top-three offensive line, and whoever is running behind it will likely produce. If the Browns do get a clear RB1, you’ll want to prioritize them immediately in your fantasy league as a possible league winner, and you should consider them as a rushing yards season leader long-shot, too.

As for the team, this only downgrades the Browns' offense slightly from 11th to 13th for me, nowhere near the impact of last Monday’s Aaron Rodgers injury by comparison. Cleveland may actually end up slightly underrated as bettors overreact to the star injury.

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