The Browns are still trying to figure out what their backfield looks like after losing star RB Nick Chubb for the season, but some of the latest injuries to the group are not helping.
Veteran RB Kareem Hunt, who just signed a one-year deal with Cleveland last week, showed up on the injury report Wednesday. Hunt did not practice due to a ribs/groin injury.
Unfortunately, the injuries don’t stop there. RB Jerome Ford, who head coach Kevin Stefanski named as “the lead back,” was also limited due to a shoulder injury.
Ford has filled in nicely for Chubb, totaling 160 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well as five catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns.
Although it would be surprising if Ford couldn’t go in Week 4, Pierre Strong remains the only fully healthy running back on the Browns 53-man roster, which is concerning given they are a run-first team.
Strong has eight carries for 28 yards and a touchdown on the season.
There is good news, however. Stefanski told reporters that Hunt is expected to play Sunday against the Ravens. The 28-year-old had five rushes for 13 yards and two catches for 22 yards in Week 3.
Cleveland also has the option to elevate RB Deon Jackson, who signed to the practice squad on Tuesday, if Hunt or Ford were unable to play this weekend. Jackson has 504 yards and three touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Colts.
However the Browns’ injuries play out, it will be important that they are able to run the ball effectively in their Week 4 divisional matchup with the Ravens, especially given QB Deshaun Watson’s underwhelming play.
Baltimore has allowed the eighth-least rushing yards per game (92.3) in the league while Cleveland has rushed for the fourth-most yards per game (160.7). It seems like it will be a classic AFC North battle in the trenches.