2 reasons Nick Chubb can shock the NFL in 2024 (and 2 he won't)

We'd all love to root for one of those comeback stories, right?
Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb
Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

Over the past few months, we have seen plenty of injury updates on Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb.

Unfortunately, none of them have given us a concrete timetable. Chubb is coming along positively, though, which is all fans could hope for at this point. If he's able to return either before Week 1, or early on in the season, what could this year look like for the fan favorite?

If a couple of things happen, Chubb could shock the NFL world, come back and top the 1,000-yard mark after a near-catastrophic, career-ending injury.

Health is on his side

If you look at Chubbs' history, the guy is an absolute gym rat. He's one of the strongest running backs in the game, today and maybe, ever. Injuries have been part of his story, but each time he's come back from being hurt, he's remained the same guy.

Look back in 2020 when he only played in 12 games. Chubb still ran for over 1,000 yards and averaged a whopping 5.6 yards per tote. He is who he is, period. If he's able to come back early enough in the season, and healthy, do not put it past this guy to go for over 1,000 yards in 2024.

Deshaun Watson makes life easy

This is wishful thinking at its best for Browns fans. If Deshaun Watson is able to revert to form, even just 75 percent of what he was in Houston, then this Browns offense will have far less pressure on it across the board. The Browns finished the 2023 season in the middle of the pack, averaging 217 passing yards per game, but that was even a bit inflated due to the Joe Flacco magic down the stretch.

This passing attack was miserable in 2023, all things considered. For Chubb to have a shot at success in 2024, he'll need a little help from Watson. He's often been used to doing it all on his own, even with a poor passing game, but if Watson lands the Browns, let's say in the top 15 in terms of passing yards, that's a dream come true for Chubb.

2024 could very well be a nightmare season for Nick Chubb

Deshaun Watson falls flat in realistic fashion

On the polar opposite end of the spectrum, Watson very well might not return to his old self, or even close to it. There were times in 2023 where Watson looked like he was, quite frankly, seeing ghosts. Some throws were so far off target and a few decisions looked as though he was playing backup for a junior varsity squad.

The possibilities are wide, with many in between, for Watson in 2024. If he's bad, then putting a huge load on Chubb simply won't be feasible, especially coming back from that type of injury. The Browns wouldn't make him suffer, taking a beating within an offense that features a disappointment under center.

The injury is simply too much to overcome

It's not a fun conversation to have, but there is a real possibility that Nick Chubb is no longer the same Nick Chubb. Injuries and age have a way of derailing running backs in today's NFL -- just ask Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell or Dalvin Cook.

If Chubb is unable to feel completely healthy as he once was, his career could be coming to an unfortunate end. It wouldn't be an ideal ending to such a strong career, but the fact is, this was not a normal injury, and although Chubb is viewed as superhuman-like, he just might be human after all.