Kareem Hunt returns to Browns after Nick Chubb's knee injury

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns are bringing back Kareem Hunt to help patch up their backfield in the wake of the season-ending injury to All-Pro Nick Chubb.

Terms were not disclosed but a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesday that Hunt signed a one-year deal worth up to $4 million. Chubb was placed on injured reserve in a corresponding move.

"I came ready to play and win. I'm just ready to go out there and showcase my talent," Hunt said Wednesday. "I know what I bring to the table. ... I'm willing to come in and do whatever it takes just to help win."

Hunt and Chubb played the previous four seasons together, forming one of the NFL's most potent running back duos.

Now, Hunt will team up with second year running back Jerome Ford, who replaced Hunt as Chubb's backup to begin this season.

Hunt's familiarity with the Browns' offense played a key role in Cleveland targeting him, although Ford is expected to be the team's lead back going forward.

Hunt rushed for 1,874 yards from 2019 to 2022 with the Browns. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry and scored 16 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 132 passes for 973 yards and seven more scores.

The Cleveland-area native asked for a trade last year after the Browns declined to extend his contract. Cleveland, however, couldn't make a deal before the trade deadline and Hunt finished the season with the team. Since March, Hunt had visits with multiple teams, including the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, but remained a free agent.

Chubb injured his left knee in the second quarter of Monday night's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had to be carted off the field. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed this week that Chubb's injury would require surgery.

"You don't replace Nick Chubb," Stefanski said. "You just don't do that. Great players in the league, you look around, they go out. It's always not one person that replaces a player of [Chubb's] caliber. So, everybody's got to do a little bit more, a little bit more everywhere."

Steelers running back Najee Harris was close to Chubb when he was loaded into the cart on Monday night and called the injury "scary."

"That could happen any play to me. So, just around the league, though, a lot of backs have been getting hurt. For Nick alone, he's a great guy. I talked to him plenty of times. I'm going to reach out to him again, actually. But just prayers up for Nick. I was hurt when I saw it. That's why I ran over there, and I just felt bad for him. So, prayers up for him," Harris said.

ESPN's Brooke Pryor contributed to this report.