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Nick Chubb's injury believed to only be torn MCL, full extent to be revealed in surgery

Nick Chubb and the Browns received a level of good news with regards to the extent of his knee injury.

A league source confirmed to the Beacon Journal on Saturday afternoon that initial tests on Chubb's injured left knee revealed he only tore his MCL. ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report.

The full extent will be revealed when Chubb undergoes surgery, which is expected to happen in the next week. The expected recovery time, if it's only a MCL tear, is between six to eight months.

There's a belief the ACL was stretched on the play, but not torn.

Browns running back Nick Chubb grimaces on the field after a season-ending, first-half knee injury at the Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.
Browns running back Nick Chubb grimaces on the field after a season-ending, first-half knee injury at the Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.

Chubb sustained the injury with 14:14 remaining in the second quarter of Monday night's loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers. On a 5-yard run, the Browns running back had his left knee rolled into by Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick while his leg was still planted.

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Chubb's Browns teammates have said the running back has been back in the building since sustaining the injury.

"I did text him and I saw him today actually, and he was in the building," All-Pro left guard Joel Bitonio said Thursday. "So I got to see him just for a quick brief interaction and he's on crutches and stuff, so it's tough, but I just told him we love him and we're thinking about him. If he needs anything, let me know. It's really all you can do in those situations, obviously a long process for him."

Second-year pro Jerome Ford will replace Chubb as the Browns' featured back. Ford ran for 106 yards on 16 carries, while also catching a 3-yard touchdown pass on the play immediately after Chubb's injury.

Ford will be backed up by Pierre Strong Jr. and the recently re-signed Kareem Hunt. Strong, who scored a touchdown against the Steelers, was acquired in an Aug. 27 trade with the New England Patriots.

Ford said on Friday he had spoken to Chubb, who provided his understudy some advice heading into Sunday's home game against the Tennessee Titans.

"Just kind of telling me to keep my routine and keep the main thing the main thing," Ford said Friday. "He was like, if I need anything, just to hit him up."

As a University of Georgia sophomore, Chubb suffered three torn ligaments in the same knee on Oct. 10, 2015, against the University of Tennessee. The ACL remained intact, but Chubb still needed surgery on the other three ligaments. He returned to action in time for the 2016 opener and eventually became a second-round draft pick (No. 35 overall) of the Browns in 2018.

Chubb is coming off a career year last year, rushing for 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns on a career-high 302 attempts. He had rushed for 170 yards on 28 carries in just over five quarters this season.

The Browns signed Chubb to a four-year extension in 2021 that boasts the fourth-highest annual value for a running back at $12.2 million. However, the last of the $5 million in guaranteed money was going to be up at the end of this season.

Chris Easterling can be reached at ceasterling@thebeaconjournal.com. Read more about the Browns at www.beaconjournal.com/sports/browns. Follow him on Twitter at @ceasterlingABJ

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Nick Chubb's knee injury believed to only be torn MCL