Kevin Stefanski: Kareem Hunt won’t play this week

NFL: OCT 17 Cardinals at Browns
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The Browns have a COVID-19 problem with their running backs for this week’s game against the Patriots.

Kareem Hunt won’t be able to solve it.

Hunt is eligible to return from injured reserve this week after missing the last three games with a calf injury. But head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters in his Wednesday press conference that Hunt is not ready to return to practice and won’t play in Week 10.

Nick Chubb, Demetric Felton, and John Kelly have all been placed on the COVID-19 list this week due to positive tests. The backs are vaccinated, which makes it possible for them to return if they have two negative tests separated by 24 hours. But even with vaccinated players, quick returns are unlikely.

“We’ll see in terms of their availability. We’ll see how this week goes,” Stefanski said, via 92.3 The Fan. “If they’re unable to make it back, D'Ernest Johnson, obviously, is our starter.”

Stefanski also noted that the Browns are in enhanced COVID protocols, which means the club is undergoing daily testing, all meetings are virtual, and masks must be worn indoors by all.

Johnson is currently the only running back on Cleveland’s 53-man roster. The team reportedly put in a claim for running back Royce Freeman, but the Texans were ahead of the Browns in the claiming order.

Cleveland has signed Brian Hill to its practice squad for some depth at running back.

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