After Nick Chubb's injury, Jerome Ford will need to use everything he's learned from the Browns star RB
Browns running back Nick Chubb suffered a devastating leg injury in Monday night's game against the Steelers. Backup running back D'Ernest Ford is ready to step up in his absence.
In the weekly special teams meetings for the Cleveland Browns, Bubba Ventrone has a unique tradition. He selects one player and showcases their best high school highlights. This tradition originated during Ventrone's time with the Indianapolis Colts. Out of all the tapes and Fridays, there is one player whose highlights have consistently stood out.
Unfortunately, the Browns now find themselves in a situation where they need all the flashiness and talent they can get. This follows a devastating leg injury suffered by Nick Chubb during the Browns' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The injury occurred in the second quarter, precisely at the 14:14 mark.
Chubb sustained the injury on a 5-yard run up the middle when Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick collided with his leg. The replay showed Chubb's knee bending sideways at a 90-degree angle as Fitzpatrick fell into him. The video was so gruesome that it elicited a gasp from the crowd, and the broadcast chose not to replay the sequence. It is believed that Chubb has suffered multiple torn ligaments in his left knee, which is the same knee he had reconstructive surgery on while at Georgia in 2015.
The star running back was carted off the field, and the entire Browns team gathered around him. Some players were crying, while others were praying. Several Steelers players even shook his hand before he was taken up the stadium tunnel by medical staff.
The emotional impact of this injury is heightened due to Chubb's personality. He may shy away from the public eye, but he consistently approaches his work in an old-school manner. His work ethic is unquestionable, and despite the ups and downs the Browns have faced since his rookie year in 2018, Chubb has been a constant presence, averaging at least 5.0 yards per carry in every season he has played.
For second-year player Dontrell Hilliard, it has been a valuable learning experience to witness Chubb's daily operations. Chubb means more to the team than just football; he is like a big brother to Hilliard. The entire team looks up to Chubb and wishes they could match his work ethic and dedication.
Now, it is Hilliard's time to step up. He was immediately thrust into action after Chubb was carted off the field. On his first play, Hilliard caught a pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson for a 3-yard score, giving the Browns an 11-7 lead.
But the real explosive moment came in the third quarter. On Cleveland's first possession of the half, Hilliard broke free for a 69-yard run to the Steelers' 1-yard line. He would have scored if it weren't for Fitzpatrick catching his foot and tripping him up. Hilliard finished the game with 106 rushing yards on 16 carries, a significant improvement from his previous career numbers.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski expressed his confidence in Hilliard, stating that he studies hard, knows what to do, and runs hard. Hilliard's role will undoubtedly increase in the absence of Chubb, and Stefanski believes he is ready for the challenge.
However, it won't be an easy road for Hilliard. He missed most of training camp due to a hamstring injury and has spent the past year learning how to be a professional in the running back room. Additionally, Hilliard is the team's primary kick returner, so adjustments will need to be made if he becomes the No. 1 back.
Nevertheless, Hilliard remains confident in his abilities. He plans to continue doing what he has always done and apply everything he has learned from Chubb. Hilliard sees Chubb as his big brother and is grateful for the guidance and lessons he has received.
In conclusion, the Browns are facing a significant challenge with the loss of Nick Chubb. However, Dontrell Hilliard is ready to step up and fill the void left by his teammate. With his explosive plays and determination, Hilliard has shown that he is capable of making an impact on the field. The Browns will need all the talent and dedication they can get as they navigate through this difficult time.