The Browns will be hunting for running back production on Thursday night.
Kareem Hunt, half of Cleveland’s 1-2 punch in the backfield, is out for quite a bit after suffering a calf injury in a Week 6 matchup vs. the Cardinals. Late in the game, Hunt snuck out of the backfield to run a route, but instead hit the turf on a non-contact injury.
Hunt was soon carted to the locker room after paying visit to the blue medical tent along the Browns sideline, further raising anxieties for Browns fans (and fantasy owners) around the country.
Thankfully for Hunt, the worst-case scenario didn’t come to pass, as the running back didn’t injury his Achilles as was initially feared and speculated. Instead, he’s expected to miss several division matchups while recovering from the injury.
Here’s the latest on Hunt’s injury, and when you can expect to see him back for the Browns.
How long is Kareem Hunt out?
On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Browns placed the running back on Injured Reserve, meaning he’ll miss at least the next three games while he recovers from a calf injury.
The Browns are scheduled to face the Broncos in Week 7 (“Thursday Night Football”) followed by division rival Steelers in Week 8 at home and Bengals in Week 9. Should Hunt’s recovery and rehab go well, he will be eligible to come off IR the week of the Patriots matchup in Foxborough in Week 10.
However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Hunt could be out four-to-six weeks while recovering from the strain. That could place Hunt’s timeline anywhere from the Lions matchup in Week 11, the Ravens game in Week 12 or following the Browns’ Week 13 Bye Week. That would place Hunt’s potential return at home vs. the Ravens in Week 14, if the full six weeks is needed.
What is Kareem Hunt’s injury?
Hunt is dealing with a strained right calf sutained during the Browns 34-17 loss to the Cardinals in Week 6. In the fourth quarter of the game, Hunt snuck out of the backfield as a checkdown option for Baker Mayfield, before hitting the turf with a non-contact injury.
Immediately, Hunt grabbed at his right Achilles area, leading to speculation that he ruptured the tendon in his right leg. He was eventually carted off after emerging from the medical tent on the Cleveland sideline.
Following the game, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski reaffirmed that Hunt did not rupture his Achilles and instead suffered a calf injury. Stefanski also said that an MRI on Monday would further determine the severity of the calf strain.
On Tuesday, the Browns would place Hunt on IR, keeping him out at least the next three games.
Kareem Hunt injury timeline
Oct. 17: In the fourth quarter of a Week 6 matchup between the Browns and Cardinals, the Cleveland running back hits the turf and clutches his lower right leg. Initially, fans and analysts alike feared a torn Achilles, but post-game, Kevin Stefanski said that his Achilles was intact, and instead suffered a serious calf injury.
Oct. 18: Hunt undergoes an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reports that Hunt would be out for at minimum three weeks while he recovers from the injury.
Browns’ RB Kareem Hunt is is out at least three weeks with the calf injured he suffered Sunday, per source. “Hopefully not much longer then that but we will see,” said source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 18, 2021
Later in the day, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport adds that the injury is a bit more serious and he would be hitting the shelf for about four-to-six weeks, leaving the Browns backfield without half of their running back tandem.
Oct. 19: The Browns officially place Hunt on Injured Reserve. That puts him on the shelf for a minimum three weeks, though reports indicate that Hunt could miss anywhere from four-to-six weeks while he recovers.