BEREA – The Browns may be forced to play another game without one of their star running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Hunt certainly won’t play on Sunday when the Browns (5-5) host the Detroit Lions, coach Kevin Stefanski said Wednesday, and Chubb will remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive last week. on a breakthrough.
“Nothing new [with Chubb]. Just day by day, and we’ll let the protocols run their course,” Stefanski said.
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If Chubb misses his second game in a row, D’Ernest Johnson will start again at running back at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday. Johnson rushed 19 times for 99 yards (5.2 average) and caught seven passes on eight goals for 58 yards in Sunday’s 45-7 loss to the New England Patriots.
Hunt will miss his fifth game in a row on Sunday. After Hunt suffered a right calf injury against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 17, Stefanski said the player’s return time frame is “in that ballpark” of four to six weeks.
Hunt, who is on injured reserve, worked on the field with an athletic trainer on Wednesday after the Browns’ walk-through. Hunt wore a sleeve on his injured left.
“He’s moving forward,” Stefanski said.
In addition to Chubb, backup running backs Demetric Felton and John Kelly and backup center Nick Harris are still on the COVID-19 list after landing there last week.
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The following Browns players did not train on Wednesday:
Defensive end Myles Garrett (not injury related, personal reason), quarterback Baker Mayfield (left, non throwing shoulder, foot, knee), wide receivers Jarvis Landry (knee) and Anthony Schwartz (concussion), cornerbacks Troy Hill (neck) and AJ Green (concussion) and Malik Jackson defensive tackle (knee).
Stefanski said he expects Garrett to be back with the team this week and play Sunday, and the coach added he is confident Mayfield will play.
Lions starting quarterback Jared Goff (oblique) didn’t practice either. Backup Tim Boyle took the first team practice reps on Wednesday.
Mayfield was on the field watching practice during the section open to reporters. Jackson trained on an exercise bike off the field. The other players who missed training were not outside.
Hill was stretched off the field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday and taken to a hospital in the Boston area before being released that night. He was diagnosed with a cervical sprain.
“All the news remains good, which is of course great,” Stefanski said. “We’ll just keep taking him.”
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Recipient Donovan Peoples-Jones started limping while running a route in the air, stopped practicing and spoke to a member of the medical staff during the open practice period.
On the injury report, the Browns listed him as a limited practice participant due to a groin injury.
Defensive end Takk McKinley (groin) returned to training on Sunday after a break. He was limited along with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (wrist, ankle, knee) and center JC Tretter (knee).
Cornerback Greedy Williams (shoulder) entered in full after being inactive against the Patriots. Judge tackle Blake Hance (thumb) was another full-fledged contender.
Running backs coach Stump Mitchell attended practice. Johnson and Mayfield hugged Mitchell, who for weeks has been leaning towards a medical problem linked to a previous knee injury.
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The Browns announced that receiver Lawrence Cager had been returned to the practice squad. Cager had landed on the practice squad/COVID-19 list last week.
The Browns also cleared defending defender Bryan Mills from the training squad/COVID-19 list.
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Nate Ulrich can be reached at [email protected].