Kareem Hunt got a late start to the season, then didn’t miss a game and scored a team-high-tying nine touchdowns.
He did much of that with a ruptured adductor that was repaired recently in a sports hernia surgery, a league source confirmed Tuesday to The Chronicle-Telegram. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was first to report the surgery and that Dr. William Meyers performed it.
Hunt, a 28-year-old running back, was signed Sept. 20 after Nick Chubb sustained a season-ending knee injury in Week 2. Hunt had spent the previous four years with the Browns but wasn’t re-signed after the 2022 season.
He played right away upon his return, started two of 15 regular-season games and rushed for 411 yards, a 3.0 average and nine touchdowns. He caught 15 passes for 84 yards.
He scored both of Cleveland’s touchdowns — rushing and receiving — in the 45-14 wild card playoff loss in Houston.
He was listed on the injury report with a groin injury for much of the season, starting Sept. 27, and often missed one practice a week. He specialized in short-yardage and goal-line situations and played a lot on third down.
“I’m so appreciative of him and the way he played and the style with which he played,” coach Kevin Stefanski said after the season. “Played really good football for us and made plays in high-leverage moments and scored touchdowns. He provided huge, huge value for us. And just he’s a battler. Loves the way he runs, the style in which he runs, gave us a huge jolt that we needed.”
Hunt is eligible to be a free agent in March and said Jan. 14 he would “definitely” test the market. The Northeast Ohio native said he’ll always root for the Browns and didn’t rule out another return.
“If the opportunity presents myself and it’s right here, then I wouldn’t be opposed to coming back,” he said. “It’s my hometown and I want to do nothing but help them win the Super Bowl.”
Cornerbacks coach Brandon Lynch interviewed for the defensive coordinator job with the Tennessee Titans, the league source confirmed. Bleacher Report was first with the news.
Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was hired last week as coach of the Titans. Callahan’s dad, Bill, is Cleveland’s offensive line coach.
Lynch was hired by the Browns in 2020 as assistant defensive backs coach and promoted to cornerbacks coach this season. The Browns had the No. 1-ranked pass defense, led by cornerbacks Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson Jr. and Greg Newsome II.
Ward was voted to the Pro Bowl.