4 Cleveland Browns who could be unsung heroes in 2024

The Cleveland Browns will rely on their stars in 2024 but these unsung heroes need to rise to the occasion as well.
Cleveland Browns, Cedric Tillman
Cleveland Browns, Cedric Tillman / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Nyheim Hines, Running Back/Kick Returner

Losing Nick Chubb hurt the Browns more than any other injury in 2023. The leader of the offense was on a roll through six quarters before his ACL and MCL were torn on a low hit from Minkah Fitzpatrick and the ground game was never the same.

Jerome Ford managed 813 rushing yards and 319 more through the air but he was often too reliant on the big play. That's why Cleveland signed D'Onta Foreman this offseason to join their running back committee. With no timeline yet for Chubb's return, Foreman is expected to have a large role in the offense.

Foreman isn't the only running back they added though as the Browns also signed Nyheim Hines. Entering his seventh season in the NFL, Hines spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills where he was a running back and return man. While in Indy, he worked with current Cleveland special teams coach Bubba Ventrone and had two punt returns for a touchdown as a rookie.

He was traded to the Bills in 2022, where he worked briefly with Ken Dorsey, the Browns' new offensive coordinator. His role on offense was minimal but he had another two touchdowns, this time on kickoff returns.

Hines missed the entire 2023 campaign after a jet ski accident but is ready to go this year. He should be a key piece of the puzzle as a returner as well as a third-down back. In his career, Hines has more yards receiving (1,778) than he does rushing (1,202) and that could wind up being the difference between long sustained drives and punts due to stalling out. Throw in the new return rules and he can be a difference-maker on special teams as well.