Nick Chubb reportedly avoided a full tear of his ACL on the play that ended his season, but his knee apparently still needs a lot of work.
The Cleveland Browns running back underwent successful left knee surgery to repair his medial capsule, meniscus and MCL on Friday, but will need a second procedure to repair his ACL in the coming months, the team announced Saturday.
Chubb is reportedly expected to return "at some point in the 2024 season."
The Browns' full statement:
Browns running back Nick Chubb underwent successful knee surgery yesterday to repair ligament damage sustained in the September 18th game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Team Head Physician James Voos, MD, performed the surgery at University Hospitals Drusinsky Sports Medicine Institute. Yesterday's surgery repaired damage to his medial capsule, meniscus, and medial collateral ligament. As expected, a second surgery will be scheduled to repair his anterior cruciate ligament in the coming months. Estimated recovery time from the surgeries indicate that Nick would be able to return to play at some point in the 2024 season.
While the Browns say Chubb's ACL repair surgery was expected, they had been previous reports his injury was less severe than expected, with a second surgery presented only as a possibility depending on what the surgeon saw during the first procedure.
Either way, the fact that Chubb is expected to play at all in 2024 is good news given the fears that surrounded him immediately after his fateful run-in with Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Chubb had previously sustained a major injury to the same left knee during his college career at Georgia, with a second severe injury potentially being career-ending.
Given that the injury was so gnarly the ESPN broadcast refused to show the replay to the audience, people weren't optimistic.
With Chubb out for at least this season, Cleveland turned to 2022 fifth-round pick Jerome Ford to carry the load while bringing back former Brown Kareem Hunt in free agency. In the Browns' first game without Chubb, Ford posted 18 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushing attempts while catching two of three targets for 33 yards and another touchdown in a 27-3 win over the Tennessee Titans.