CLEVELAND — Gotham City has Batman and the Cleveland Browns have running back Nick Chubb.
In the final moments of “The Dark Knight” feature film, Batman told Jim Gordon, “I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be,” and along that mindset, Chubb personalized and paraphrased the quote to his NFL home in an Instagram post.
Chubb wrote, “I’m whatever Cleveland needs me to be,” followed by a bat emoji.
During his weekly pregame press conference, Chubb cracked a smile and laughed when asked about the meaning behind the post.
“That’s just a Batman quote,” Chubb said. “I like Batman. That’s pretty much it. Don’t look too deep into it.”
All jokes and superhero references aside, Chubb has made good on those words to be “whatever Cleveland needs me to be” with his play on the field.
Chubb has turned his 253 rushing attempts into 1,281 yards and seven touchdowns with 53 first downs, nine 20-yard gains and four 40-yard rushes and has committed only two turnovers, both in a loss at New England in late October.
Also, Chubb has proven to be a versatile back who is able to make plays catching the ball out of the backfield, too. Chubb has 32 catches for 256 yards with 12 first downs and four 20-yard plays.
Chubb rattled off a 57-yard run that set up a touchdown in last Sunday’s 27-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
“I wasn’t paying attention at first to get where I’m at, so I’m not going to start now,” Chubb said of his standing as the NFL’s leading rusher. “I’m just going to keep playing every week, preparing, starting the practice and keep working. If I keep working like I am, things will happen for me in the right way, so I’m counting on that.”
Currently, Chubb leads the NFL in rushing yards, carries and average per attempt (5.06 yards) and game (98.5 yards), has the second-longest run of the season (88 yards), the third-most total scrimmage yards and ranks seventh in first down conversions.
Chubb is the first running back in Browns history to record 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two NFL seasons, and that is no small feat, given that several former Cleveland rushers (Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly, Bobby Mitchell, Marion Motley) are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“It means a lot,” Chubb said. “Definitely to me and this whole organization, we’re all in this together. I’m just happy to be able to do it for the Cleveland Browns and to be a part of this journey that I’m on. I’m happy I have everyone here with me, going through it with me. Everybody plays a part. It is not just me.”
Chubb has a 38-yard lead over Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry for the NFL rushing lead, and although he would trade all of the individual success for more victories, the second-year running back acknowledged it would be special to finish with the most yards.
“It will mean a lot to me only because of how hard I worked and it paid off for me,” Chubb said. “That’s really the biggest thing for me is just when I work hard, it shows and I get the results that I want.”