Posted on: September 19, 2023, 11:51h.
Last updated on: September 19, 2023, 11:51h.
The Cleveland Browns suffer a major setback with the loss of star running back Nick Chubb to a severe knee injury during a Monday Night Football clash against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2.
The Browns are concerned that Chubb may miss the entire season with a left knee injury sustained in the second quarter while attempting a run in the red zone. The injury occurred when Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick collided with Chubb during a tackle by a teammate.
“It’s obviously a huge loss,” stated Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper. “Nick is the team’s driving force. He’s the best player on the team. I’m devastated for Nick and for the team’s loss. It’s not just an unfortunate situation, it’s a tragedy.”
With Chubb out of action, the Steelers emerged victorious in the AFC North divisional battle, defeating the Browns 26-22.
Chubb was one of the top three running backs picked in fantasy football leagues, including Yahoo and ESPN. Only Christian McCaffery (San Francisco 49ers) and Austin Ekeler (Los Angeles Chargers) were chosen ahead of Chubb at the start of the season.
In Chubb’s absence, Jerome Ford stepped up in the rotation. The second-year running back rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries after Chubb’s injury. Ford also contributed three receptions for 25 yards and one receiving touchdown during Monday’s game.
Having been drafted in the fifth round from Cincinnati, Ford had limited playing time as a rookie last season.
Another Knee Injury for Chubb
In the season opener, Chubb rushed for 106 yards from 18 attempts against the Cincinnati Bengals, but failed to score any touchdowns.
Prior to his knee injury against the Steelers, Chubb gained 64 yards on ten carries.
“It f—ing hurts,” expressed demoralized Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.
In 2015, Chubb suffered a left knee injury during his sophomore season with the Georgia Bulldogs, tearing his MCL, PCL, and LCL, and requiring reconstructive knee surgery.
Chubb made a successful recovery and returned to the field for his junior season at Georgia, playing in 13 games in 2016. He regained his previous form during his senior season in 2017, rushing for 1,345 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games.
Some NFL scouts raised concerns about Chubb’s injury history, which resulted in his fall to the second round of the draft. However, the Browns took a chance on him with an early second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In his rookie year with the Browns in 2018, Chubb showed promise, rushing for 996 yards on 192 carries and scoring eight rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns.
Since 2019, Chubb has rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the last four seasons. He has scored at least 12 rushing touchdowns twice in his career in 2020 and 2022. Last season, Chubb achieved a career-best of 1,525 rushing yards on 302 carries.
In 77 games with the Browns, Chubb has rushed 1238 times for 6,511 yards and 48 touchdowns. He has averaged 5.3 yards per carry throughout his career. Chubb has not been heavily involved in the passing game during his time with the Browns, with four receiving touchdowns, 123 receptions, and 1,011 receiving yards.
Betting the Browns Without Chubb
Following their divisional loss to the Steelers (1-1) on Monday Night Football, the Browns slip to 1-1 for the season. The Baltimore Ravens currently lead the AFC North with a 2-0 record, while the Bengals are at the bottom with an 0-2 record.
The Bengals were favored to win the AFC North for the third consecutive season, but have yet to secure a win this season due to starting quarterback Joe Burrow’s injury.
The Ravens are now the betting favorites to win the AFC North with +100 odds, followed by the Browns (+330), Bengals (+475), and Steelers (+550). The Ravens also lost their starting running back, J.K. Dobbins, to a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1.
The Browns have +2200 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII and +1200 odds to win the AFC Championship. However, both of these future bets seem unlikely for the Browns without Chubb.
The Browns are at -145 odds to miss the playoffs, but have +115 odds to secure a postseason spot.
Before the season began, the Browns had an over/under win total of 9.5. Oddsmakers temporarily suspended betting on the Browns after Chubb’s injury, but it has since returned with the current win total still set at 9.5 o/u.
In Week 3, the Browns will host the Tennessee Titans (1-1) as a -3.5 favorite. The Titans have a 2-0 record against the point spread this season, while the Browns have a 1-1 ATS record.