The Cleveland Browns acted quickly to add to their running back room as they bring back a familiar face to replace Nick Chubb. Cleveland is signing Kareem Hunt after working him out this week, the team announced Wednesday. Cleveland.com initially reported the Browns were close to signing Hunt in the wake of Chubb's season-ending knee injury.
Hunt's deal is for one year and worth up to $4 million, according to NFL Media.
The Browns also officially moved Chubb to injured reserve, officially ending the back's season.
Hunt, who was a free agent into the season, played with the Browns for the past four seasons -- but Cleveland chose to let him walk this offseason. The 2017 NFL rushing champion, Hunt has been the No. 2 running back since joining the Browns. He spelled Chubb to form arguably the league's top running back duo for the past four years.
Hurt rushed for 468 yards and three touchdowns last season on a career-low 3.8 yards per carry. He's expected to be the No. 2 back again in Cleveland, this time behind Jerome Ford, who rushed for 106 yards and 6.6 yards per carry in Chubb's absence during Monday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said Tuesday Ford would be their featured back going forward.
"You don't, as you know, you don't replace Nick Chubb," Stefanski said. "You just don't do that. 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, a little bit more everywhere. But we'll look at options there in terms of who we bring in."
That option appears to be Hunt, who is familiar with the Browns' offense and can play immediately. Hunt has rushed for 1,874 yards and 16 touchdowns in Cleveland, while having 973 receiving yards with four touchdowns. In Kansas City (2017 and 2018), Hunt had 2,151 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns as the featured back while also having 833 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
Hunt was released by the Chiefs in December of 2018 after a video showed him pushing and kicking a woman during an altercation. The Browns gave Hunt a second chance in 2019 and he hasn't looked back.