It would be difficult to overstate the impact the left knee injury Chubb suffered in the first minute of the second quarter Sept. 18 at Acrisure Stadium will have on the Browns for the rest of the season. The star running back was hurt at the end of a 5-yard run to the Pittsburgh 3. It was his 10th carry of the night.
Chubb is the heart of the Browns. Through all the coaching changes, all the quarterback changes, Chubb was always there, going about his work quietly and finishing the season with more than 1,000 yards every year but his rookie season of 2018 season when he finished with 996 yards.
All Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski would confirm is Chubb is out for the year.
Stars across the league tweeted their support for Chubb. "Just the worst feeling. Gutted for Chubb," J.J. Watt tweeted.
"Prayers for Nick Chubb. Never want to see that," was Kyler Murray's message.
Derrick Henry, the bulldozer running back of the Tennessee Titans, tweeted three broken heart emojis, two sad-faced emojis and a crying face emoji. There were many more with similar messages that reflect the respect Chubb's peers have for him.
"We don't want Nick's injury to be in vain," Browns defensive end Myles Garrett said. "We have to push on. That's what he would want us to do."
Andrew Berry's next move should be to call Kareem Hunt. Hunt is the best running back still without a team. Hunt was not happy about not getting a contract extension from Berry last year. But right now the Browns and Hunt need each other.
Now Deshaun Watson has to be the focus of the offense. The $230 million man did not show enough in the opener or in the game with the Steelers to fill fans or, more importantly, his coaches or teammates with confidence.
The Steelers beat the Browns, 26-22, and Watson handed them 14 of their points. Watson threw an interception Alex Highsmith returned 30 yards for a pick-six on the first play of the game and he fumbled in the fourth quarter on a strip sack by Highsmith, who cleanly beat Jedrick Wills on the play. T.J. Watt scooped up the ball and returned it 16 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
Watson lost a fumble near midfield on a fourth-down at the Steelers' 43 late in the first quarter, killing a drive that started at the Cleveland 5. He finished the night 22 of 40 for 235 yards with one touchdown pass and the pick.
Watson had a chance to be a hero at the end. The Browns got the ball on the Cleveland 25 with 2:55 to play, down 26-22, and one timeout left. The Browns moved to midfield with 2:19 to play and could go no further.
Watson was swamped by the Steelers' pass rush, but he did nothing to show he is the quarterback that could overcome that. He was skittish most of the night.
Certainly, Tom Brady faced a fierce pass rush in all those historic comebacks, but he was often better than the pass rushers. Brady engineered 46 comebacks and 58 game-winning drives in his amazing career.
Not only did Watson turn the ball over three times. He was flagged for two personal fouls for grabbing the facemask of Steeler defenders.