With NFL training camps starting to open up, the Cleveland Browns are starting to come to grips with what it may take to fight for a playoff spot if and when quarterback Deshaun Watson gets suspended.
One thing it will take is winning ugly, which means they will need to lean more on running back Nick Chubb.
Chubb seems to be putting in the work needed to carry the load he may need to carry.
Videos such as these of him doing Herculean work during weight training sessions are going viral.
.@NickChubb21 is stronger than you. 😳💪
— NFL (@NFL) July 22, 2022
Chubb Has Been One Of The NFL’s Best Running Backs
Chubb, who was a second-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, may not get as much publicity as Derrick Henry or Jonathan Taylor, but he is a workhorse tailback in his own right.
He has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the last three seasons, and in 2021 he ran for 1,259 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing three games.
Chubb’s 5.5 yards per rush attempt last season ranked second in the league among running backs and was second only to the Seattle Seahawks’ Rashaad Penny, who is not even close to being in Chubb’s class when it comes to overall production and value.
At 5-foot-11 and nearly 230 pounds, Chubb lacks the size and brute power that has allowed Henry to become arguably the NFL’s most prolific running back over the last couple of years.
But with his work ethic and other advantages, the former Georgia Bulldog could be poised for a memorable season.
Could Chubb Take Things To The Next Level In 2022?
The 2021 campaign was an injury-riddled one for the Browns, and their offensive line wasn’t immune to the injury bug.
Jedrick Wills Jr., Nick Harris and Jack Conklin all missed games last season, and their health will be a significant key to the team’s success this season, Watson or no Watson.
But when healthy, the Browns’ offensive line is considered one of the best in pro football.
A healthy offensive line, combined with more touches, could result in Chubb having the type of production that mirrors that of Henry or Taylor.
Nick Chubb will be a 2,000 yard rusher this season. https://t.co/mjSpHyWN3M
— Trey Young (@Trey_Young34) July 2, 2022
He has certainly had a stellar start to his NFL career, one that has placed him in some extremely select company.
Nick Chubb is one of 2 players in NFL history to rush for 3,000+ yards & average 5.0+ yards per carry in their 1st 3 NFL seasons. The other…Jim Brown #Browns
— Gary Jackson (@ElJackoSupreme) December 6, 2020
If Watson ends up missing most or all of the 2022 season, Chubb may very well have to go for a 2,000-yard season, or at least something like 1,600 or 1,700 yards, for the Browns to challenge for at least a wild card spot in the NFL playoffs.
Another advantage he has on his side is a nice companion back in Kareem Hunt to take some of the pressure off him.
The presence of Hunt can help reduce the fatigue of being a tailback who has to go through stretches where he carries the ball several snaps in a row.