2. Banking solely on Nick Chubb to fix the run game
Losing Nick Chubb in the second week of the season was a major blow. Not only is he the best player on their offense but he's a leader by example. Chubb — who is even quieter than Amari Cooper who gets confused with a mime — says very little with his words. But he works as hard as anyone and comes to every practice and game prepared. Plus, he never gives up.
Chubb embodies the "never stop fighting" spirit of this team which is why it's safe to bet on him to return in 2024. Many running backs would have a hard time coming back from an ACL and MCL tear in the same knee they tore up in college. Especially considering the number of carries he's had since the injury in 2015 while at Georgia.
While that's true with most backs, Chubb seemed to be even better when he returned the first time. So while we have all the faith in the world he will see the field again in 2024, the Browns have to be practical. They need to understand that Chubb needed two surgeries to get his knee fixed and because of that might not be ready in Week 1.
Due to this, they have to make some changes to the running back corps. Jerome Ford, Kareem Hunt, and Pierre Strong all had certain qualities to appreciate but none were true lead backs this year. Cleveland isn't likely to bring Hunt back which means they have to use that roster spot to find someone capable of carrying the load until Chubb returns.
There are a few interesting options in free agency that could be affordable, including Antonio Gibson, Zack Moss, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. If they want to get crazy, there's Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, or Tony Pollard. Cleveland could also look to the draft with Trey Benson, Audric Estime, and Bucky Irving all serving as potential fits.
Whatever they do, the Browns would be wise to act as if Chubb isn't going to be there at all in 2024. That way when he does arrive, it will be to boost an offense that's already firing on all cylinders — rather than one that needs him to get the train back on its tracks.