Cleveland Browns Lose Pro Bowl Running Back Nick Chubb to Gruesome Knee Injury

The Cleveland Browns 2023 season may have suffered a fatal blow on Monday Night Football against their division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Star running back Nick Chubb suffered a gruesome knee injury in the second quarter and did not return.
Chubb absorbed a blow to his left knee near the goal line from Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who also briefly left the field. Chubb's injury was grizzly enough that the Monday Night Football broadcast declined to show replays.

Chubb was off to a hot start early in the game, logging 10 carries for 64 yards. He also compiled an impressive 106 rushing yards on 18 carries in the Browns' 24-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1.

Chubb is a four-time Pro Bowler and the centrepiece of the Browns offense. His absence clearly hindered the Browns throughout the night. Quarterback Deshaun Watson struggled, netting 210 passing yards on 46 dropbacks and absorbing six sacks. Worse yet, he committed three frustrating turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns. His errors could not be overcome, and the Browns fell 26-22 despite holding the Steelers to nine first downs.

If Chubb's injury is as serious as initially feared, the Browns will turn to backup running backs Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong Jr. They could also explore free agency. Former Brown Kareem Hunt remains available.

In either case, the Browns will have to lean more heavily on Watson, and all evidence so far suggests that could be a problem. The former Houston Texan has been a resounding disappointment since the Browns controversially traded for him despite him facing dozens of sexual assault allegations. His 5.0 net yards per attempt, 168.8 net passing yards per game, and 10.8% sack rate through eight starts are all among the worst in football since 2022.
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