CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns star running back Nick Chubb will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a gruesome season-ending injury in Monday night’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A four-time Pro Bowler in six seasons, Chubb was injured when Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick tackled him low on a carry in the second quarter. The impact deformed the same knee that Chubb injured in 2015 in Georgia and had rebuilt.
Coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Tuesday that Chubb’s season is over. He did not provide any details on the severity of the injury or when he will have surgery.
“Very disappointed for Nick,” Stefanski said on a Zoom call. “He means a lot to this team, means a lot to this organization, so we will miss him. But he will bounce back. I have no doubt.”
Chubb, 27, was taken on a gurney and transported to a Pittsburgh hospital as a precaution. He was released and returned to Cleveland to undergo an MRI.
The Browns (1-1) must now regroup and proceed without one of their best players. Quiet and unassuming, Chubb is perhaps the most respected player on Cleveland’s team. He sets the tone with his work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit.
After Chubb went down, quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland offense struggled for long stretches in the 26-22 loss, the Browns’ 20th straight regular-season loss at Pittsburgh.
One of the few bright spots on this dismal evening was backup running back Jerome Ford, who will now replace Chubb.
Returning from Cincinnati as a sophomore, Ford replaced Chubb and totaled 106 yards on 16 carries, averaging 6.6 yards. Ford had a 69-yard run and caught a 3-yard TD pass one play after Chubb’s injury.
Stefanski said Ford will be the featured back moving forward and the Browns are considering adding another running back.
“You’re not replacing Nick Chubb,” he said. “The big players in the league, you look around, they’re coming out. It’s still not a person who replaces a player of his caliber, so everyone has to do a little more, has to do a little more everywhere.
“We will look at the options in terms of who we bring in.”
The Browns host Tennessee on Sunday.
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