Jerome Ford

Can the Browns go into this season with Jerome Ford as their second running back?

The Cleveland Browns backfield is one of a few areas that have seen some minor changes this offseason. Nick Chubb is still the starting running back, but it is the depth behind him that has changed. Kareem Hunt is no longer in the picture and appears to be moving on to other opportunities. That puts Jerome Ford in the driver’s seat to be Cleveland’s secondary back behind Chubb, but is that really the best path forward?

Ford is going into his second NFL season and is very inexperienced when it comes to playing the running back position at this level. With only eight carries for 12 yards to his name, Ford does not possess the lengthy resume of Hunt or any current free agent option. Some level of experience would be preferred in Chubb’s primary backup due to how much the offense counts on his contributions. If Chubb were to go down the Browns would find themselves in big trouble offensively. As Chubb’s carries add up and he approaches the age of 30, the potential for him to miss significant time increases.

That appears to be a risk that the Browns are willing to take on full force, but should they?

No one knows exactly what Jerome Ford will be at this exact moment, but placing such a high level of trust in a player with limited experience seems foolish currently. Losing Chubb for any amount of time this year will have a negative impact on this season. However, there is a way to mitigate that risk by having an experienced backup ready to go if needed. Ford may be able to play this role in the future, but expecting him to take on an additional workload in the potential absence of Chubb without adequate experience is a big ask.

If Chubb goes down for any amount of time they could still find themselves losing a ton of games no matter who the backup is. There is just something about having an experienced backup ready to go if needed that provides a bit more comfort. Who knows, maybe Ford steps in and is able to handle a bigger role in the Browns offense, taking on Hunt’s responsibilities and then some. Considering the data heavy background of those in charge, it seems like a uncharacteristic gamble they are taking in a season where they must win or they will be looking for jobs elsewhere at season’s end.

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