The Cleveland Browns have one of the best running attacks in the NFL, and it’s one that ranks fifth in rushing yards and second in touchdowns.
But Nick Chubb isn’t the only one responsible for that strong production.
He has a reliable tag-team partner in Kareem Hunt, who has put up 361 rushing yards and three touchdowns through 11 games.
He is in the last year of his contract, and he had asked to be traded during training camp, supposedly because negotiations on an extension didn’t go his way.
The Browns didn’t trade him this season, which means that these last six games of the regular season could be his last ones as a member of the team.
Hunt’s Value To Cleveland Goes Beyond His Production
While Hunt isn’t quite as prolific as Chubb, who is arguably the league’s best running back, he can be explosive at times and give the Browns a different look in the backfield.
— Mac🦬 (@tha_buffalo) February 21, 2022
But that isn’t the only reason why Cleveland would ideally want to keep him around beyond this season.
Chubb is on pace for at least 300 carries this season, and while one must admire how much of a workhorse he is, rushing the ball that many times in a single season puts lots of wear and tear on one’s body.
He may be only 26 years of age, but he has been slowed a bit by injuries in recent seasons, including an MCL injury in 2020.
Historically, running backs who tally over 300 carries in a season tend to suffer a major injury shortly afterward, and the Browns will want to protect Chubb from such a fate.
By keeping Hunt in the fold, they can keep Chubb’s usage rate to a manageable level, which could not only prevent injuries but also prolong his career a bit.
Hunt may have to accept less money that he desires, possibly on a shorter-term contract, and Cleveland may have to cough up a little more money in order to give itself a shot at contention beyond this season.