CLEVELAND — When the Cleveland Browns signed running back Kareem Hunt during the offseason, they knew when he returned from a league-mandated suspension, the Pro Bowl rusher was going to be a nice complement to second-year star Nick Chubb.
In Sunday’s 19-16 win over the Buffalo Bills, the Browns got their first look at the Hunt-Chubb tandem, and the results were impressive, as they rushed for 147 yards on 26 carries.
“We both love the game of football,” Hunt said following Tuesday’s practice at team headquarters in Berea. “Football is football out there, and whatever we can do to help each other out on each play, that is what we are going to do.”
Chubb added, “I was excited to get out and play with him. He brings a lot of energy, a lot of fire and he’s very intense. It was great to come out there and play with him, having fun. It felt like we were just kids in the backyard playing with each other, so it was great.”
With Hunt on the field for the first time during the 2019 regular season after serving a suspension for off-the-field incidents including assaulting a woman at a Cleveland hotel/apartment complex in February of 2018, the Browns averaged 5.7 yards per carry, gaining 147 yards on 26 rushes on the way to Cleveland’s first win in more than a month.
With Hunt helping lead the way and distract the defense coupled with hard running from Chubb, the Browns’ lead back gained 116 yards against the Bills.
“That shows the type of person he is,” Chubb said. “He knew the game plan the whole week. The whole game plan was he was going to be mostly lead blocking for me, and he didn’t complain. He didn’t say anything.
“He understood what it was, and he went out there and he just did what he was asked. He had fun doing it, and it shows the character of him and just the great person he is. Now, he’s still the same guy. He just wants to go out there, get on the field in whatever way he can and to impact this team in a positive way.
“I trusted him. I had the idea he’d be pretty good, and he’s very physical.”
When Hunt was not the lead blocker, he was a difference maker for the Browns’ offense with the ball in his hands.
Hunt got only four carries, but turned them into 30 yards and a game-high 7.5 yards-per-rush average. Additionally, Hunt caught seven of the nine passes quarterback Baker Mayfield threw his way and converted those receptions into 44 yards.
Both Chubb and Hunt are confident the success against the Bills was only the beginning for the Pro Bowl-caliber talents and could continue to be impactful against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday.
“I feel like there is a lot more to go,” Hunt said. “We have to build off that, get our bodies together and get ready to go back out there and compete hard again on Thursday night.”
Chubb added, “We still can change things up, kind of make plays off of what we’re doing right now, sort of mess with guys’ eyes. I think if we keep it going and do a lot of things great, I’m not sure, but I think it’ll be really good for us.”