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Notes: Kareem Hunt in for tryout as team looks for help following Nick Chubb injury

Kareem Hunt was back in Berea on Tuesday.

He could stick around.

The Browns are looking for a running back to help fill the Grand Canyon-sized void created when Nick Chubb suffered a season-ending knee injury Monday night in the 26-22 loss to the Steelers. Hunt visited the team for a tryout, a league source confirmed to The Chronicle-Telegram, and would make for a smooth transition after spending the last four years as Chubb’s backup.

Teammates feeling the pain after Nick Chubb’s season ends with horrific knee injury


The Browns let Hunt leave as a free agent in March and the relationship had been strained. He wasn’t happy with his contract situation last season, requested a trade and sat out team drills for a couple of days during training camp.

General manager Andrew Berry denied the request, and Hunt played all 17 games, but his production dropped to 468 rushing yards, three TDs and a 3.8 average with 35 catches for 210 yards and a TD.

NFL won’t suspend Deshaun Watson after contact with official Monday night

“We’re early stages of looking at different options right now, so I can’t really speak to anybody specific,” coach Kevin Stefanski said when asked about Hunt.

Stefanski said Jerome Ford would be the feature back in place of Chubb. Ford, in his second season, rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries Monday and had a 3-yard touchdown on his first career catch. Pierre Strong Jr. is the other back on the roster.

Berry is exploring options at the position, with the Rams’ Cam Akers another intriguing one.

Steelers 26, Browns 22: Nick Chubb lost for season with knee injury; Cleveland blows lead in fourth quarter

“Andrew and the personnel department is working through options,” Stefanski said. “You don’t replace Nick Chubb. You just don’t do that. Great players in the league, you look around, they go out. It’s always not one person that replaces a player of his caliber. So everybody’s got to do a little bit more, a little bit more everywhere.

“But we’ll look at options there in terms of who we bring in.”

It’s easy to see how Hunt would fit. The 28-year-old Northeast Ohio native joined the Browns in 2019 and totaled 1,874 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns and 4.2 yards per carry, adding 132 catches for 973 yards and seven touchdowns.

He worked out for a few teams but remained unsigned.

The Rams made public their intent to trade Akers, 24, and he was a healthy inactive Sunday vs. the 49ers.

Akers’ agent is David Mulugheta, who also represents quarterback Deshaun Watson and helped engineer his trade to Cleveland from Houston. The Browns have expressed interest, according to multiple reports.

Akers was the No. 52 pick in 2020 out of Florida State. He returned from a torn Achilles in 2021 and has expressed frustration with his role. He’s started 15 of 30 games, rushing for 1,443 yards, 10 touchdowns and a 4.0 average and catching 27 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown.

Ford and Strong are in their second seasons, but Stefanski said experience wasn’t a prerequisite in the search for help.

“We just got to look at the options that are available,” he said. “I don’t know that there’s one specific thing that we’re looking for.”


Left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. was late coming off the ball on the key play of the game. Steelers outside linebacker Alex Highsmith lined up wide, beat Wills around the edge, stripped Watson as he tried to escape, and the ball bounced to outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who returned it 17 yards for the winning touchdown.

“Full blame on me,” Wills said after the game. “I had trouble with the snap count that play. On the road games that happens, it’s pretty much over with from there. I’ve got to be better in that aspect.”

Wills, the No. 10 pick in 2020, has been inconsistent throughout his career.

“You know, Jed had some moments that were really good,” Stefanski said when asked about the strip-sack. “We know he’s a good player. Didn’t get off the line clean on that rep. It was unfortunate.”

Watson was sacked six times and hit 11.

“We obviously didn’t do enough there in protecting and it’s multifaceted,” Stefanski said. “It’s play calls, it’s technique, it’s everything. They pressured us from the edges and from the interior, and we made some plays but just didn’t make enough.”


Four turnovers, eight penalties for 81 yards, special teams errors that flipped field position and a couple of coverage breakdowns on defense added up to too many mistakes to overcome.

“You go back and watch the tape after that game and you see our team doing things that you cannot do and win in the NFL,” Stefanski said. “The giveaways — four of them, two of them leading to touchdowns — some of the penalties, the field position game. We did not play well enough.”


Cornerback Greg Newsome II hyperextended his elbow in the second half and left the game. Stefanski termed him “day-to-day.”

** Defensive end Za’Darius returned to the game after twisting an ankle, and Stefanski didn’t have an update.

** The Browns lead the league with 402 rushing yards through two games.

** Left guard Joel Bitonio started his 100th straight regular-season game. He hasn’t missed a snap during the streak.

** Defensive tackle Shelby Harris had a half-sack in his 100th career game, giving him 25 for his career.

** Receiver Anthony Schwartz and cornerback BoPete Keyes were waived from injured reserve.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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