Though it was the second time that he’s suffered a similar type of injury to his left knee, there’s been nothing but relatively positive news regarding Chubb and his recovery process. He had two successful surgeries on September 29th, 2023, and November 14th, 2023 to repair his torn MCL and ACL. He’s been described by doctors and this Browns front office as being “on track” and progressing well in terms of his overall outlook.
The only confusing part of the equation is his potential return date. The team initially worded his possible return window after his first surgery as “at some point in 2024”. In November after Chubb had his 2nd surgery, the Cleveland Browns said that “Nick would be able to return to play during the 2024 season”. Though worded similarly, it’s clear that there’s a difference between those two sentiments. One seems like Chubb had a possibility of being ready to go before the season, while the second firmly suggests that he won’t.
In Andrew Berry’s press conference on January 22nd, he had this to say about the situation:
#Browns Andrew Berry on Nick Chubb: "Nobody wants to see that carry in Pittsburgh be the last carry he has for the Cleveland Browns...we obviously will work to keep him with the team."— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) January 22, 2024
This quote is fairly worrisome seeing as how each update on Nick seems to be going in the wrong direction in terms of his return prospects with the team.
Though everyone wants to see Chubb have a full recovery and get back to the type of dominant player that he was before the injury, there’s a greater than 0% chance that it isn’t going to happen. This doesn't necessarily mean that he’s going to retire or not be on the team, it just means that there’s a realm of possibility where he’s only going to be 70% of the player that he once was. He could very well be just as efficient with the ball as he usually is, but maybe the team decides to give him a significantly less workload going forward.
In any case, Cleveland has to add another legitimate complementary option or have a backup plan in place heading into the 2024 season. Luckily for the Browns, both the 2024 free agency and NFL Draft class are flush with talented players at the position.
It’s going to be interesting to hear what the team says next about his overall progress.
What are your thoughts on Nick Chubb and the team’s running back situation? Join fellow Browns fans in the comment section below.