NFL injury news: Browns’ RB Nick Chubb expected to miss six weeks with MCL sprain

By Matt Johnson
Sep 27, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs with the ball asWashington Football Team cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) defends during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb is headed to injured reserve after suffering an MCL sprain, the latest in a series of crushing news on the NFL injury front.

Chubb suffered the injury early in Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys . While the Browns were confident he avoided a serious injury, the team received troubling news on Monday morning.

NFL injury update: Nick Chubb placed on injured reserve

Speaking to reporters, Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski announced that Chubb would be placed on injured reserve with an MCL injury. While that could mean just a three-week absence, under the NFL’s new IR rules, it appears to be a more significant injury.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, doctors expect Chubb to miss six weeks of action due to the MCL sprain. While that stretch includes Cleveland’s Week 9 bye, it still means he is unlikely to return until November.

Cleveland’s best-case scenario would likely be a return on Nov. 15, in Week 10 against the Houston Texans. It would mean he missed five weeks, but only four games on the team’s schedule. If doctors’ prognosis proves to be the case, Chubb likely won’t return until Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Fantasy impact of Nick Chubb’s MCL injury

Chubb’s MCL sprain is just the latest in a wave of injuries that have sidelined some of the NFL’s biggest stars. Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler have all gone down with significant injuries. Now, Chubb becomes the latest fantasy football sensation to land on IR.

The 24-year-old running back has been incredible this season. Already coming off a 1,494-yard campaign in 2019, Brown was poised for another monster year. He recorded consecutive 100-yard, two-touchdown games entering Sunday and was averaging 7.2 yards per carry against Dallas before going down.

Moving forward, Kareem Hunt will become the featured running back in Cleveland’s offense. He has been an incredible weapon this season, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and racking up big yardage on the ground and as a receiving back. He instantly becomes an RB1 for the next month and will be a top-10 running back in weekly fantasy rankings.

In a season with so many injuries, especially at running back, D’Ernest Johnson will be the top waiver-wire target for Week 5. He led the Browns in carries (13) and rushing yards (95) on Sunday, stepping in as an explosive runner after Chubb left the game. Given the workload he should receive, he’ll be a quality FLEX option in Week 5.