CLEVELAND: Nick Chubb spent the previous 5 weeks watching, ready, brooding. He’s lastly again doing what he enjoys most and does finest: taking part in.
Shelved 4 video games by a sprained proper knee that slowed Cleveland’s potent dashing assault considerably, the Pro Bowl again is ready to return to the lineup Sunday because the Browns (5-3) return from the bye week and host the Houston Texans (2-6).
Chubb’s return has his teammates elated.
Nick is rattling close to superhuman, mentioned proper guard Wyatt Teller, additionally again after lacking three video games with a calf pressure.
Chubb hasn’t performed since Oct. 4, when his knee obtained bent awkwardly within the first quarter of a win over the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn’t the primary knee damage for Chubb, who suffered a serious one to his left knee whereas he was at Georgia, so the 24-year-old was ready for the infinite hours of rehab it could take to get again on the sector.
That didn’t make the time away any simpler.
I’ve been bored sitting right here, Chubb mentioned.
Now that he’s wholesome, Cleveland’s floor recreation needs to be fitter as nicely.
The Browns had been main the NFL with greater than 200 yards dashing per recreation when Chubb went down. They’ve dropped to fifth with a 150.zero yard common, however the mixture of Chubb and Kareem Hunt would possibly have the ability to push that up in opposition to a Houston protection that’s the league’s worst at stopping the run (159.5 yards per recreation).
Nothing in opposition to our different backs as a result of we imagine in these guys as nicely, however having that two-headed monster of these guys having the ability to sub contemporary legs in as wanted, that’s one thing that we’re extraordinarily blessed to have, mentioned Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
With rain within the forecast, Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel expects the Browns to pound the ball.
We know we have now our fingers full, however we have now to attempt to load up on the run as finest we are able to, and realizing that for those who load up on the run, that opens some issues up on the again finish, Crennel mentioned. “We have a number of issues that we have now to work out.
The Browns are coming off a bye week dedicated to fixing among the inconsistencies that plagued them within the season’s first half.
Cleveland reached the midpoint with a profitable report for simply the third time since 1999, and whereas coach Kevin Stefanski is doing all he can to maintain his gamers centered on the right here and now, the Browns have a practical shot at ending a playoff drought courting to 2002.
Obviously, that’s the finish objective, however we have now to take it one recreation at a time, mentioned Mayfield. “We are enthusiastic about this again half of the 12 months and the grind that it’ll be.
WATT A GAME
J.J. Watt confirmed off his offensive abilities the earlier time he performed in Cleveland.
The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year had considered one of his three touchdowns in 2014 on a 2-yard TD reception for Houstons first rating in a 23-7 victory. He lined up at tight finish and pulled down a move from Ryan Mallett.
It was throw, Watt recalled. “It was both going to be I caught it, or it went out of bounds.
Watt additionally had a strip sack and recovered a fumble. It wasn’t an ideal day as he was penalized twice for roughing the punter.
I believed for certain I used to be going to dam every of these punts, he mentioned. I needed to be like an inch away. So, the strip-sack and the landing had been type of my option to pay again the crew.”
The bye week gave the Browns an opportunity for bumps and bruises to heal. In addition to Chubb and Teller returning, tight finish Austin Hooper is again after sitting out two video games following an appendectomy.
Mayfield and receiver Jarvis Landry are each feeling a lot better after coping with damaged ribs.
It is superb what simply not getting hit on one Sunday does for you, Mayfield mentioned.
While Houston’s report is likely to be disappointing, quarterback Deshaun Watson has maintained his excessive requirements.
He’s thrown 17 TD passes, simply 5 picks and is finishing 68.Three p.c of his passes. Add in his mobility, and it’s straightforward to grasp why the Browns are nervous.
Very harmful, Cleveland defensive coordinator Joe Woods mentioned of Watson. I’ve not slept very a lot this week. You can simply inform simply by way of their offense and the way they put it along with the run and move recreation.”
ROMEO, O, ROMEO
Crennel is aware of his approach round FirstEnergy Stadium.
Houston’s interim coach had two stints with the Browns, serving as defensive coordinator in 2000 earlier than taking on as coach from 2005-08.
In 2007, the Browns went 10-6 their finest report since 1999 beneath Crennel however missed the playoffs due to a tiebreaker.
That was a fantastic season, Crennel mentioned. Generally you might be alleged to make the playoffs if you win 10.
The 73-year-old Crennel not too long ago handed Hall of Famer George Halas because the oldest coach in league historical past.
Stefanski mentioned he hasn’t thought of hanging round that lengthy.
He has achieved it at a excessive degree, the 38-year-old Browns coach mentioned of Crennel. He has gained Super Bowls. I’m impressed with what he’s doing with the crew proper now. He ought to maintain going so long as he’s having enjoyable doing it.
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