CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns star running back Nick Chubb will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a gruesome season-ending injury in Monday night's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A four-time Pro Bowler in six seasons, Chubb got hurt when Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick tackled him low on a carry in the second quarter. The impact buckled the same knee Chubb injured in 2015 at Georgia and had reconstructed.
Coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Tuesday that Chubb's season is over. He did not provide any specifics on the severity of the injury or when he'll have the operation.
“Very disappointed for Nick,” Stefanski said on a Zoom call. “He means a lot to this team, means a lot to this organization so he will be missed. But he will bounce back. I have no doubt.”
The 27-year-old Chubb was taken off on a cart and transported to a Pittsburgh hospital for precaution. He was released and returned to Cleveland to undergo an MRI.
The Browns (1-1) now need to regroup and proceed without one of their best players. Quiet and unassuming, Chubb is perhaps the most respected player on Cleveland's roster. He sets the tone with his work ethic and business-like demeanor.
After Chubb went down, quarterback Deshaun Watson and Cleveland's offense struggled for extended stretches in the 26-22 loss, the Browns' 20th consecutive regular-season defeat in Pittsburgh.
One of the few bright spots on a somber evening was backup running back Jerome Ford, who will now step in for Chubb.
A second-year back from Cincinnati, Ford replaced Chubb and rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries, a 6.6 yard average. Ford had a 69-yard run and caught a 3-yard TD pass one play after Chubb's injury.
Stefanski said Ford will be the featured back going forward, and that the Browns are exploring adding another running back.
“You don’t replace Nick Chubb,” he said. "Great players in the league, you look around, they go out. It’s always not one person that replaces a player of his caliber, so everybody’s got to do a little bit more, got to do a little bit more everywhere.
“We will look at options there in terms of who we bring in.”
The Browns host Tennessee on Sunday.