It’s unclear if the Cleveland Browns will have their starting quarterback back for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers but it sounds like they’ll have their starting running back. Nick Chubb is expected to play in this weekend’s game, according to this tweet from CBS’ Josina Anderson.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) October 25, 2021
Chubb has missed the last two games due to a calf injury. Cleveland was down to their third string back last Thursday, but D’Ernest Johnson had a career performance, rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown in their win over the Denver Broncos. Assuming Chubb plays, Johnson should be the team’s backup with Kareem Hunt still on IR, and it’s likely there will be some sort of rotation between Chubb and Johnson against the Steelers.
Despite the injuries, Cleveland has the #1 rushing offense in yards per game (170.4), yards per carry (5.3), and tied first in rushing touchdowns (13).
Chubb was enjoying another fine season prior to his injury. Over the team’s first five games, he rushed for 523 yards on 90 carries, an extremely healthy 5.8 yards per pop, with four touchdowns. One of the league’s best backs, Chubb ran well against the Steelers in two meetings with them last year. A 108 yard performance in Week 17 followed up by a 76 yard rushing, 69 yard receiving, one touchdown showing in their Wild Card win.
Pittsburgh’s run defense waned in the second half of Week 6’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, in part due to missed tackles, so this group must wrap up better to slow down Chubb this weekend.