Lack of preseason game appearances 'doesn't matter to' Cleveland Browns star Nick Chubb

BEREA — Nick Chubb hasn't played in a preseason game in many a season. The next one isn't likely to end that streak.

Of course, none of that is a concern for the Browns All-Pro running back.

"It doesn't matter to me," Chubb said Tuesday. "Whatever they want me to do, I'm willing to do it. Haven't played in one since a lot of years ago, so it's not my decision, but I'm ready to do whatever it takes."

Chubb is expected to be one of a handful of Browns starters who don't play in Saturday's preseason finale against the Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo. While not confirmed by head coach Kevin Stefanski yet, that group also likely includes at least guard Joel Bitonio, tackle Jack Conklin, receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end Myles Garrett.

Stefanski is typically tight-lipped about most of those individual decisions, especially multiple days from the game. As for Chubb specifically, the head coach tap-danced around the question.

Browns running back Nick Chubb carries during practice Sunday.
Browns running back Nick Chubb carries during practice Sunday.

"We'll see," Stefanski said. "I try to make those decisions based individually on each player. As you can imagine, Nick's doing everything in his power to get ready for September 10 (and the regular-season opener)."

It's not been an issue for Chubb in previous seasons. He's coming off his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl season, one where he set career highs in carries (302) and yards (1,525) while matching a career high in rushing touchdowns (12).

The number of carries Chubb had in three preseason games last year? Zero.

It's not that Chubb hasn't gotten competitive carries, though. As has been the case each of the previous three non-COVID training camps, the Browns have participated in joint practices with another team, in this case, it was two days in Philadelphia last week with the Eagles.

"Probably the biggest thing is whether I go out there and compete," Chubb said of his takeaway from the Eagles practice. "Just go out there and compete, fly around. You're going to make mistakes, it's going to be intense. But I think for the most part, we're a very disciplined team. And when it came down to that, I think we did good."

Browns running back Nick Chubb participates in a drill, Aug. 7, 2023.
Browns running back Nick Chubb participates in a drill, Aug. 7, 2023.

The biggest thing for Chubb is continuing to grow his connection with quarterback Deshaun Watson. While that may seem like something a running back doesn't necessarily need, at least compared to wide receivers catching passes, there's still requirement the two be on the same page.

There's a timing involved in the running game, from when the handoff occurs to how it's made. There's also Watson's own involvement in the running game through direct keeps or even option plays.

"I think it's coming along good," Chubb said. "We got a head start last year when Deshaun got in late in the season, so I think this year we just kind of built off that and I think it's going along very well."

Chris Easterling can be reached at Read more about the Browns at Follow him on Twitter at @ceasterlingABJ

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Nick Chubb not worried about not playing in Cleveland Browns preseason