Things were looking up for the Cleveland Browns after the first week of the season. They hammered the Cincinnati Bengals, getting off on the right foot at 1-0. In Week 2, they lost a hard-fought game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, 26-22.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, the loss on the scoreboard wasn’t the worst one that they suffered. The biggest loss came in the form of running back Nick Chubb, who suffered a gruesome knee injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
Depending on the severity of the injury, it could be career-threatening. It is the same knee that he injured while playing collegiately at Georgia and concerns are very high. Without him in the lineup, the Browns’ game plan will change drastically.
There isn’t much depth behind him on the roster as Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong are the only other running backs on the active 53-man roster. A move will have to be made this week as the Browns will need more depth.
Luckily for them, there are some solid veterans still available on free agency. Former Browns running back Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette are atop the list. Or, Cleveland could look to make a splash and trade for a running back.
One player that could be atop their wish list is Jonathan Taylor. He would be a plug-and-play replacement for Chubb, someone they can rely on to produce the same kind of production they were getting from their star player.
The Indianapolis Colts were open to trading Taylor before the season began and could re-engage in trade talks ahead of the October 31st trade deadline. What could a deal between the Browns and Colts look like?
Cleveland could offer a second and fourth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and see if Indianapolis bites. The Colts were reportedly looking for a first-round pick and then made outlandish requests to the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers, seeking Jaylen Waddle and Christian Watson in deals.
That is strong draft compensation to receive for a running back, let alone one that is one an expiring contract. The Browns would have to not only meet the Colts’ asking price but sign Taylor to a new lucrative contract as well. If there are any doubts about Chubb’s playing future, locking Taylor in long term makes a lot of sense.