How long is Nick Chubb out? Injury timeline, updates, return date after Browns RB suffers knee injury

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The Browns will be without their engine for the foreseeable future.

Cleveland's Amari Cooper said as much after the Browns' Week 2 "Monday Night Football" loss to the Steelers. The wide receiver sung the praises of his teammate Nick Chubb, who suffered a brutal knee injury during the matchup.

"It's a huge loss, Nick is like the engine of the team, best player on the team," Cooper said. "Tragic. I'm very sad for Nick, sad for this team."

MORE: Browns RB depth chart — How the room looks after Chubb's injury

This is the second time that Chubb has suffered a season-ending knee injury. While with the Georgia Bulldogs in 2015, Chubb suffered a similar injury, tearing his ACL, MCL, PCL and dislocating his kneecap all in one fell swoop. 

Now, the 27-year-old running back faces a similar injury and a lengthy recovery. Here's what to know about Chubb's return to the field:

How long is Nick Chubb out?

While there's no firm timeline on Chubb or his injury, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said that the running back is likely out for the 2023 season.

A forthcoming MRI should determine the severity of the knee injury and what that means for his recovery for 2024 and beyond.

What is Nick Chubb's injury?

Chubb took a shoulder pad to the knee during the Steelers-Browns Week 2 matchup on a rushing attempt, forcing his knee to turn in a gruesome and unnatural angle. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the injury is expected to be as severe as it looked, which will will include "multiple" torn ligaments. 

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said a forthcoming MRI will determine the severity of the injury and what that may mean for his recovery. 

What happened to Nick Chubb?

On a rushing attempt during the Week 2 Steelers-Browns "Monday Night Football" matchup, Chubb suffered a major knee injury. 

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick tackled Chubb low, putting a shoulder pad on Chubb's extended knee, causing the devastating injury. ESPN wouldn't replay the injury, while Acrisure Stadium video boards would show the injury, causing a collective groan from those in attendance.

Chubb would lay on the field for several minutes before he was carted to the locker room. He was ruled out almost immediately after the injury.

MORE: Browns RB options — Jonathan Taylor, Cam Akers on short list of Chubb replacements

ACL recovery time in the NFL

Assuming that Chubb tore his ACL (along with any other ligaments), then it could be about a year for Chubb to return to the field. Players typically return in around 10 months from a single ligament injury. 

Typically, some players can take the field sooner than 10 months, but assuming the worst, a Chubb return would probably place him back on the field close to October 2024.

In October 2015, Chubb suffered a similarly gruesome knee injury as Georgia's running back, also occurring on his left knee. Chubb would miss the remainder of that season but return in time for the start of the 2016 season, playing stronger than ever, with 1,375 scrimmage yards that season. 

Nick Chubb injury timeline

Sept. 19: An MRI is scheduled to determine the severity of Chubb's knee injury, but all indications are Chubb will be out for the remainder of the 2023 season. 

Sept. 18: During the Browns-Steelers Week 2 matchup, Chubb is injured after a low hit by Pittsburgh safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Replays showed Chubb's leg bent at an extreme angle, and he would be carted off and immediately ruled out. After the game, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski says that Chubb will likely be out for the rest of the season.

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Joe Rivera is a senior content producer at The Sporting News and teaches Multimedia Sports Reporting at his alma mater, Rutgers University.