Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb saw his season come to a sudden and gruesome end on Monday night with a knee injury that would cause immediate recoil for anyone seeing it.
It was that logic that led to ESPN and ABC deciding not to show the replay of Chubb’s injury on their airwaves.
But those attending the game between the Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers – being played at Pittsburgh’s Acrisure Stadium – did see the unfortunate incident on the big screen.
That moment was captured on airwaves as ESPN play-by-play man Joe Buck was explaining that those watching at home would not see the injury.
As he was saying that, a massive groan of shock suddenly rippled through the stadium as Chubb lay on the ground moaning in pain.
ESPN chose not to show the replay of the moment Browns RB Nick Chubb injured his knee
*WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT*
Chubb went down early in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers – blowing his left knee out
The 27-year-old collided with Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick on Cleveland’s first-and-goal play with 14:26 left before halftime. Pittsburgh led 7-3 at the time.
Replay footage – captured at home by someone watching the game on Sky Sports in the UK – shows Chubb’s legs bending awkwardly underneath him while being tackled by Fitzpatrick. What’s more, is that by the end his five-yard run, Chubb’s left knee appeared almost entirely at a right angle.
After the play, a teammate grabbed Chubb’s hand to try to help him to his feet, but Chubb shook his head while clutching his left knee. Speaking to reporters after the game, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said he expects Chubb to be out for the rest of the season.
Chubb suffered a serious injury to the same knee in 2015 while in college at Georgia – a dislocation with three torn ligaments.
Like the previous injury, the one on Monday night was difficult to watch, and ESPN declined to show replays of the play where he was hurt on TV.
Chubb, who signed a three-year, $36.6million contract extension in 2021, undid his chinstrap and rolled over onto his side prior to treatment from the Browns’ medical staff and teammates gathering around him. Several players took a knee and prayed.
‘It hurts, that’s our brother, that’s my brother, we’ve been together for a long time,’ said teammate and Browns defensive end in his postgame comments. ‘It’s a blow for the whole team and we don’t want his injury to be in vain. We have to push on – that’s what he’d want us to do. And if he had any choice in the matter, that’s what he would do so we just have to continue to fight and use it as motivation.’
Mike Tomlin – the Steelers’ head coach – added: ‘I can’t say enough about Nick Chubb, we’re sending our best to him, I have a lot of respect for that guy.’
Chubb was carted off and scans later revealed serious damage that will end his season
Chubb previously tore his MCL, PCL, and MCL in the same knee in a game in October of 2015
Chubb had run 10 times for 64 yards prior to getting injured in Monday’s game and eventually being ruled out.
It was revealed later that evening that Chubb would be out for the rest of the season due to this injury.
He was replaced by Jerome Ford, who scored on a 3-yard reception immediately after his exit. Ford then rushed for a 2-point conversion to put Cleveland ahead 11-7.
This injury came on the same day it emerged that the NFL has filed a grievance against the NFL Players Association, alleging that union leaders, including president JC Tretter, have advised running backs to ‘consider feigning or exaggerating injuries’ to help increase their leverage in contract negotiations.
The grievance, filed on September 11, will be reviewed by an arbitrator.
In a memo sent to the league’s management council executive committee and obtained by The Associated Press, the NFL said the union made the suggestion to running backs during a Zoom meeting before the season.
Any player who took the union’s advice and faked an injury would be violating the collective bargaining agreement, the league argued.
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