Browns Notes: Kareem Hunt “ready to play”

Nick Chubb welcomes sharing carries with Hunt, safety Damarious Randall returns to practice Wednesday

November 7, 2019
Kareem Hunt

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Berea, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Running back Kareem Hunt is set to make his return to the field Sunday against Buffalo.

That much we know.

What we don’t know is how much of a workload Hunt is ready for.

“Some of that is dictated by the game, but I think Kareem is ready to play,” head coach Freddie Kitchens said.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield is anxious to see what Hunt can do to give their struggling offense a boost.

“We are hoping for an immediate impact,” Mayfield said. “Everybody here knows the type of player he is. That is why he is here. He obviously has not played in a long time, but he has studied the gameplans from what I understand in these past weeks, and then he is getting out there at practice. He looked great today and I am looking forward to seeing what happens.”

Hunt, who was removed from the reserve/suspended by the commissioner list on Monday, was cleared by the league office to begin practicing on Oct. 21. By all accounts Hunt has been running scout team reps during practice up until Wednesday.

Kitchens has made it clear that they have a plan for Hunt, and he will have a role going forward.

“I think Kareem fits into our locker room very well from a standpoint of personally,” Kitchens said. “Professionally, everyone knows what he can do. Kareem has been a good person since he has been here, and I know it is important for him to continue to make strides in that area. Football will take care of itself.”

Nick Chubb is fourth in the NFL in rushing with 803 yards and he’s been the most consistent offensive player this season scoring 6 touchdowns, which leads the team.

“I am excited about it to get somebody else back there with me that can carry the ball and do pretty much all the things I can do,” Chubb said. “He can catch the ball really well. He is an exciting player that can make some explosive plays, and he definitely very special so I am excited to be a part of it but also excited to watch.”

Chubb has no problem sharing the load coming out of the backfield and he’s done it before successfully.

“I can do whatever. I can play the role of being the main guy or sharing carries,” Chubb said. “Like in college, the first part of my career I carried the load, and in the second part, I split carries and that is probably more beneficial for the whole team. It is all about the team for me. Whatever we can do to win, I am all for it.”

Kitchens isn’t worried about Hunt’s return negatively impacting Chubb.

“I think Nick is about one thing and one thing only: winning,” Kitchens said. “Nick gives us a great opportunity to win. I think we are adding another chip to the puzzle to increase those chances, too. I do not think either of those are very selfish at all so whatever gives us the best chance to win.”

Randall returns – Safety Damarious Randall returned to practice Wednesday after missing the last 2 games with a hamstring injury.

“It’s always good to be back out there with my guys,” Randall said. “Just kinda happy I can move around again.”

Randall suffered the injury on one of the final plays Oct. 13 against the Seahawks.

Kitchens and the Brows are taking a cautious approach with Randall to make sure he doesn’t come back too soon.

“I’m listening to my body and taking it day by day,” Randall said. “Whenever I’m good to go I’ll definitely be out there.”

Randall, who ranks third in interceptions among active players who have started 49 or fewer games with 14, missed 2 other games – Weeks 2 and 3 against the Jets and Rams respectively – due to a concussion.

“Being injured, missing games is always kinda frustrating,” Randall said. “I’m going to just continue doing what I’m doing and take it day by day.”

Njoku update – David Njoku had his cast removed on Monday, a sign the tight end has taken an important step towards returning this season, but Kitchens didn’t want to set a timetable or expectations for that to happen.

“We are really just taking that day to day and will judge that down the road when he is eligible [to return],” Kitchens said.

Njoku is eligible to play again Nov. 24 against Miami.

Home cookin’ – After spending most of the first half of the season on the road, the Browns are about to kick off a 3-game homestand Sunday against the Bills and they’ll play 5 of their last 8 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“We gotta win games,” Randall said. “I don’t care where the game’s at. It could be on the moon. It’s unacceptable and we gotta start winning games.”

Injury report – DNP: DE Olivier Vernon (knee), TE Pharaoh Brown (concussion), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (knee), S Eric Murray (knee)

Limited: LG Joel Bitonio (back), S Damarious Randall (hamstring)

Full: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (groin), WR Jarvis Landry (shoulder), LT Greg Robinson (ankle), OT Kendall Lamm (knee)