After suffering a season-ending knee injury, Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb had been relatively quiet. However, he broke his silence with a post on Tuesday, which coincided with news of his latest surgery.
The Browns announced Chubb’s successful ACL surgery on Tuesday in a press release. He had previously had his MCL repaired in September.
“Team Head Physician James Voos, MD, performed the surgery at University Hospitals Drusinsky Sports Medicine Institute. Dr. Voos considered today’s surgery successful and added that Nick’s recovery has progressed very well following his first surgery in late September,” the team wrote in a release. “As previously announced, the estimated recovery time from these surgeries indicates that Nick would be able to return to play during the 2024 season.”
Chubb responded to the news, posting an image of Batman on his social media. The four-time Pro Bowler has embraced “The Dark Knight” as his persona, so it was a very on-brand message from Chubb.
It’s a very subtle message but one that has some meaning. The image showed Batman’s broken mask following a fight with the villain, Bane, in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Batman loses that fight, suffers devastating injuries and is told by the supervillain, “victory has defeated you.” However, Batman works his way back and eventually comes out victorious.
Chubb previously talked about the movie and that sequence, in particular, inspiring him as he recovered from a similar knee injury during his time at Georgia.
“I remember I was like on top of the world, coming off a good [freshman] season, feeling myself, doing good in everything, and he said that, and I feel like he was talking to me,” Chubb told The Akron Beacon Journal in 2020. “I kind of used that as motivation to keep me up and keep me going because of how he came back from that. That’s how I attacked my rehab and my recovery from my injury.”
Nick Chubb Has Been in Good Spirits Following Injury
Chubb has been out since September 18 when he suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers after taking a questionable low hit from safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Chubb hasn’t been heard from following the injury, with scarce updates from the team with the running back on the mend. Kareem Hunt recently shared some insight on how Chubb has been handling his time away from the field.
“Nick doing real good,” Hunt said on November 2. “He’s keeping his spirits high. He’s working hard in the training room and I know he’s looking forward to getting back.”
Jake Trotter of ESPN reported that Chubb worked in the weight room in between surgeries.
Browns Face Contract Decision With Nick Chubb
The Browns running game took some time to get going without Chubb. But Cleveland has righted the ship with their running back by committee approach and is second in the league in rushing yards per game (147.9).
Jerome Ford has been the lead back, notching 124 carries for 532 yards. Hunt has chipped in with 228 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns, picking up the hard yards when his number is called.
Going forward, the Browns have to carefully navigate the waters with Chubb — who has been the heart and soul of the franchise. He carries a $16 million cap hit next season. It’s the third-highest in the league among running backs but Chubb has no guaranteed money left on his deal.
With the Browns set to be in a cap struggle next season — thanks in large part to Deshaun Watson’s $64 million cap hit — Cleveland will have to find ways to pinch pennies. It would cost the Browns just $4 million in dead money to release Chubb but they could also rework his deal. Much of their decision-making will depend on how much he’ll be able to play next season, which will become clearer in the months to come.