BEREA, Ohio -- Nick Chubb's time in Cleveland has arrived.
Chubb’s playing time and carries both will increase, which has to be of interest to fantasy owners as well as Browns fans. So will Duke Johnson.’s; the Browns' best playmaker from a year ago had been lost in a trio of backs that proved to be one too many.
Hyde’s trade means that Chubb likely will be the starting back and get the bulk of the carries. He will assume the role Isaiah Crowell had one year ago.
Johnson will return to his role of 2017, when he topped 1,000 yards rushing and receiving and led the Browns in touchdowns.
Chubb has shown big-play ability, with touchdown runs of 63 and 41 yards. He also turned a negative play against the Los Angeles Chargers into a gain by avoiding tackles for a loss and using his quick feet and elusiveness to run for 19 yards.
That one play may have summarized the difference between Chubb and Hyde. Chubb made a negative play into a double-digit gain. Hyde had plenty of times when he turned a negative play into a positive, but it usually went for 2, 4, or 6 yards, not 19.
Hyde still dominated the carries; Chubb had only 16. There was a reason ProFootballFocus.com dubbed him the NFL’s most underutilized running back.
Chubb’s average carry of 10.8 yards reflects his big-play potential. It won’t last, of course, but it shows what the Browns believe they have in him. He will get plenty of opportunities.
The trade also frees more snaps for Johnson, who was the Browns' main playmaker a year ago. His first significant chance came in the game against the Chargers, and he totaled 109 total yards.
Opening up the running back spot for Chubb and Johnson gives the offense two more playmakers on the field at a time when the Browns need all the talent they can find to help rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.