Cleveland Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb was voted the NFL rookie of the week in Pepsi’s Week 4 voting poll.
The rookie set an NFL record in his breakout game, totaling 105 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries. In the 1,200 instances in NFL history where a player rushed for over 100 yards and had two scores, no one had ever done it in only three attempts, per Elias Sports bureau (via ESPN):
There have been over 1,200 instances of a player having 100+ Rush yards and 2 TD in a game in NFL history.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 1, 2018
Nick Chubb is the only player ever to do it in 3 rushes or fewer. (via @EliasSports) pic.twitter.com/g40M2gdh3p
Chubb joins Baker Mayfield (Week 3) and Denzel Ward (Week 1) as winners of the vote. With three different winners already among Cleveland’s first four picks from last April’s NFL draft, you could say John Dorsey’s first draft class in Cleveland is off to a pretty decent start.
Prior to 2018 and since the award’s origination in 2002, the Browns had just five different weekly rookie winners—André Davis once (‘02), William Green three times (‘03), Charlie Frye three times (‘06), Trent Richardson once (‘12), and Corey Coleman once (‘16).
The award is making Cleveland realize it needs to get the elusive and powerful Chubb more involved in its game plan.
“[Carlos Hyde] is our workhorse, but at the same time, we have a guy that is making huge plays, difference-making plays,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said on Thursday. “Around here, I believe strongly in you earn the right to make plays, and he has certainly earned the right with a couple of those runs.”
Haley still referred to Hyde as his starting running back, and stressed the difficulty in managing backfield rotations. But he’s not oblivious to Chubb’s talent and early results. It’s probably fair to think we’re going to see more of the rookie in the coming weeks.
Hyde hasn’t been bad, he’s played about as expected so far, but Chubb shares some of his strengths while mixing in some elements of shiftier teammate Duke Johnson’s skill-set.
If he can earn his coach’s trust in pass protection, which may be one of the limitations he’s battling, it’s possible Chubb can begin to cut into both player’s snap counts.