Running backs grow on trees. But running backs like Nick Chubb are hard to find and even harder to replace. And this is the reality that the Cleveland Browns now have to live in after their star running back suffered a season-ending and serious knee injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. Could they turn back to Kareem Hunt? Could they make another deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and land the unused former Seahawk Rashaad Penny?
The Browns are going to trust Jerome Ford to take over the lion’s share of carries. However, they will add another running back, and it is to be determined if that back will be seen as the second running back behind Ford or the third running back behind Pierre Strong Jr.
Here is a laundry list of running backs the Browns could consider to fill the massive void left behind by the injury to Chubb.
Kareem Hunt, free agent
Not ideal given his significant drop-off last season, but he is familiar with the team and the system.
Rashaad Penny, Philadelphia Eagles
Would the Eagles be willing to engage in a pick swap for the inactive Penny? He’s been stellar when healthy throughout his career.
Trey Sermon, free agent
The former Buckeye running back is a fan favorite from his time in Columbus, but there is a reason he is looking for his third team in three years.
Demetric Felton, Cincinnati Bengals (practice squad)
D'Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears
A standout with the Carolina Panthers a year ago, D’Onta Foreman has not found the field with the Chicago Bears this year.
Leonard Fournette, free agent
A veteran who still has a bit of juice left, the Browns could turn to the one known as Playoff Lenny.
D'Ernest Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Another familiar face who has stepped up big for the Browns in the face of injury, D’Ernest Johnson is currently buried on the Jacksonville depth chart.
Caught between a Swiss Army knife and a master of none, Antonio Gibson has struggled to make an impact in Washington. Could the Browns find a creative purpose for the hybrid back?
Michael Carter, New York Jets
The Jets refused to trade him during cutdowns. However, after losing Aaron Rodgers and the hope of their season, they could be looking to recoup some draft capital now.
DeWayne McBride, Minnesota Vikings (practice squad)
A violent runner, McBride is a former teammate of Austin Watkins Jr. and Alex Wright of the Browns. Could the Browns use the powerful McBride in their backfield?