Browns RB Nick Chubb's MRI reveals less severe knee injury than expected, per reports

Nick Chubb's season-ending knee injury was so brutal that ESPN opted not to replay it and some feared it might end his career.

The Cleveland Browns running back underwent an MRI, and the prognosis is reportedly much more optimistic. Chubb sustained a torn MCL, which will be surgically repaired next week, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and ESPN's Adam Schefter. His recovery timeline is reportedly six to eight months.

His ACL was reportedly partially damaged, but not completely torn. He could need two surgeries. It will depend on the outcome of the upcoming procedure, during which the doctor will assess the full scope of the injury. If necessary, the second procedure would be a full ACL reconstruction.

Early reports made it seem sure the 27-year-old's knee was fully dislocated after the apparent forced hyperextension — which would have been career-threatening. While Chubb's ligament injuries are serious, he reportedly has more odds of making a full recovery with this current diagnosis than the former.

Chubb was hit low by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick as the Browns running back was taken down by linebacker Cole Holcomb near the goal line during the first half of the Steelers' 26-22 win.

As broadcasters discussed the network's choice not to show it again, a replay of the injury was shown in the stadium, resulting in an audible collective groan from the crowd.

Fitzpatrick later defended the hit, clarifying that he's "not a dirty player." The league supported that sentiment, opting not to include the play in the flurry of fines that were reported on Saturday.

While Chubb recovers, the Browns are sure to feel the absence of the veteran. He was a second-team All-Pro selection last season and has averaged 5.3 yards per carry across his six-year career. He ranks the second-highest in that statistic among every running back with at least 1,000 carries in NFL history.

In his absence, the Browns will integrate Kareem Hunt, a 28-year-old running back the team reportedly signed to a one-year deal two days after their starting running back went down.

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