Nick Chubb entering concussion protocol creates concerns for Cleveland Browns.
The Cleveland Browns coaching staff and roster are not happy with Mack Wilson after Wilson made a hard, high hit on Nick Chubb during the team’s first padded practice on Monday. And the news on Chubb won’t make things better for Wilson.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanksi announced Tuesday Chubb will be entering the concussion protocol after Monday’s hit. Chubb cannot return to practice until he clears the protocol.
According to the NFL’s concussion protocol, Chubb must rest and recover and cannot do any activity except for stretching until he returns to his “baseline status” and his symptoms go away. Then he will begin light aerobic exercises under Browns training staff supervision.
If no symptoms reappear during Phase 2 of the protocol, the training staff will give more aerobic exercises and start strength training. If no concussion symptoms appear once again, then Phase 4 allows him to do “football specific activities”, or non-contact drills. Finally Phase 5 is full football activity and clearance.
Based on the NFL’s protocol, the Browns could be without Chubb for a few days or almost a full week in the shortest time frame. This will create concerns for the Browns because this next week will be important as Stefanski installs the new offense with the players on the field and nearly full-go.
In order for the Browns offense to run fluently during the season, they need as much practice time as possible for the scheme to be second-nature for them. By missing time initially, such as Chubb will be, it can set a player behind as he tries to learn the flow of the new offense. And since Chubb is encouraged to avoid using electronics during Phase 1, it will be hard for him to watch film to compensate for missing practice.
Chubb may only miss a few practices, but with everything so condensed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, any on-field time is important. There are already questions about if the team will be ready to go Week 1 of the regular season, so having a key piece miss time will only add to those questions.
Luckily for the Browns, Chubb’s skill-set is a perfect fit in Stefanski’s scheme and Chubb has already shown to be comfortable with the wide-zone schemes. Being the running back and most of the schemes being cut and dry for the position, Chubb missing time may not be as back-breaking as it would be if he played another position.
It also helps the Browns they have Kareem Hunt, who is arguably the best backup running back in the NFL. If Chubb is forced to miss extended time, Hunt can fill the starting role and potentially match Chubb’s production. It also gives Hunt more time to work with Baker Mayfield and the starting offense, building chemistry that could prove to be crucial.
This could turn out to be a short-term injury for Chubb and he could be on the field within the next week. However, concussions can linger and extend a player’s time off the field much longer than anticipated. So Chubb entering concussion protocol, or any player for that matter, is never a good sign.