CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Midway through a season of few wins, much inconsistency and a maddeningly underachieving offense, the Browns are about to get a boost.
Kareem Hunt, the talented but troubled running back, onetime Rookie of the Year and former NFL rushing leader, finally returns to action after serving his 8-game suspension.
“I think Kareem is ready to play," head coach Freddie Kitchens said on Wednesday.
The question is, how much will he play, and how much should we expect from a guy who hasn’t played in a regular-season game since last November?
“We’re hoping for an immediate impact,"quarterback Baker Mayfield told me on Wednesday. “Everybody here knows the type of player he is, that’s why he’s here. He obviously hasn’t played in a long time, but he’s studied the game plans from what I understand in past weeks and is getting out there at practice and looked great today, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens."
Hunt has actually been practicing with the team since October 21, when he was cleared by the NFL to return to the practice field. But now comes the big step: resuming his career, and teaming up with one of the top running backs in the league, Nick Chubb.
“I’m excited about it," Chubb said. “He’s gonna be back there with me to carry the ball. He can do all the same things I can do. He’s a very exciting player, makes explosive plays...I’m excited to be a part of it, I’m excited to watch."
Hunt should complement Chubb, especially on third downs, where Kareem excelled as a receiver in Kansas City.
“I definitely think that both of their skillsets offer you plenty of opportunities to do a lot with those guys," Kitchens said. "They are both excellent runners, and they both catch the ball very well out of the backfield. They are good protectors. That makes them good all-around running backs.
“We are still trying to find out what we can draw up.”