RB Nick Chubb (6.5.24)

Kind of describe the progression through the rehab and where you are, what stage you are at right now in terms of recovery. 

“Yeah, I’m getting better every day, taking it day by day. Getting better. Yeah, just right now trying to get stronger.” 


Are you satisfied with where you’re at right now? 

“I like where I’m at. I’m where I need to be. I would say that, you know, the biggest thing for me is getting better every day.” 


Does going through that experience when you were at Georgia help you on this path? 

“I would say it does help just knowing how to attack it mentally and knowing, I might not be at a certain point where through the rehab process that I want to be, but I know, taking it day by day and the weeks add up and the months add up, and eventually I’ll get to where I want to be.” 


What are your goals and expectations for when you can practice? 

“I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m just taking it day by day. You know, it’s Wednesday, and I had to get better today on Wednesday. That’s my whole mindset.” 


No timeline in terms of when you’ll be back out there? 



What did it feel like when you were finally able to get out there and run again? 

“Yeah, it felt good. You know, I was down [in] September. I mean, I didn’t start moving really well until, kind of lately. So, you know, now it’s feeling good to be able to move around.” 


How have you leaned on this organization and your teammates during this time of rehab for intel? 

“It’s definitely motivating to come out here and see the guys practicing. You know, I want to get out there and help them, and I want to be a part of this team. It definitely motivates me to get back.” 


I know you were close with Stump (Mitchell). What are your impressions of Duce Staley? 

“Yeah, I was blessed to have two great coaches here on the Browns. And I definitely will miss Stump. We stay in touch. He’s a great person, a great coach, and just overall a great guy. And also with Duce, I mean, he brings energy. Every day he’s himself, he loves the game, he loves to coach us, and he’s doing a great job. He’s going to help us out a lot—not just the running backs, but the entire team.” 


So even though you obviously aren’t out there practicing, being in the meetings and everything, how important is that for you through this process? 

“It’s important. I haven’t played football since last September. So just to be around, just to see the plays, get my mind back on football. I think it’s important for me just as a football player to be around football more.” 


You were around the guys last year, but how hard was it, Nick, to not be on the field and not be able to contribute? 

“Yeah, it was tough. You know, it’s always hard not being able to play the game with your guys who you go through camp with, spring with. But, I mean, our team did a great job of no matter who was down, next man up and continue to play.”  


Nick, what would it mean to you for that Thursday night game, coming back into the stadium, being able to smash the guitar in front of that home audience, what did that experience mean to you? 

“It meant a lot. I told the guys I’m doing my part. We all had to do our part in that Thursday night game. I did my part, and the guys did the rest.” 


From a business standpoint, what did it mean for you to have Andrew (Berry) and the front office work to keep you around another year? 

“Yeah, I mean, definitely a blessing. They could have cut me dry and left me hanging, right? But they did a great job. You know, I want to be here in Cleveland. They know that. So, we came to a great point.” 


Nick, how confident are you that you can get back to being the player you have been? 

“Yeah, I mean we’ll see. It’s not my first time going through this, so I’ve been through it before, but my whole goal is to get back out there.” 


Nick, do you thrive in these situations just like sort of your hero, Batman, where people count you out and they don’t believe that you’re ever going to be able to get back to that level? Do you kind of get motivated by that? 

“I use that as motivation. I see everything. It’s not the first time someone has counted me out. So I’ve been here before and I’m not really paying much attention to it. But I do see it, and I’m just focusing on getting better.” 


You talked about kind of being down in September. When did you kind of sort of round the corner, you know, in terms of kind of emotionally, mentally start to feel back, feel better in that regard? 

“I can’t even pinpoint a date. You know, it just all mushed together. I think when I started running, maybe I started kind of getting my mind back on, ‘I’m going to be able to play football again.'” 


Did you ever think you wouldn’t be able to? 

“Never crossed my mind. I mean, been through it before.” 


Nick, thinking about last year, the reaction from your teammates and how many Nick Chubb shirts and Georgia jerseys and Browns jerseys you saw them wearing, what did that mean to you, to kind of have the team rally around you? 

“Yeah, it was special. You know, the team did a great job of being there for me. I was down mentally for a while. When you get hurt, I mean, it’s one thing. When you get hurt again, and you already know what you got to go through the entire process – surgery, rehab, it’s a nonstop battle every day. So my team did a great job being there for me. I was around the building for them and they did a great job. Made the playoffs, had a great run.” 


Do you think that was a dirty hit?  

“I don’t think it’s a dirty hit at all. I’m not blaming him. It’s part of the game.” 


How much different is this rehab versus your one at Georgia? 

“It’s not much different. Same process. I mean, just different ligaments, I guess. But it’s pretty much the same.” 


When we talk to Deshaun (Watson), he has talked about trying to make sure the he does what the doctors and the trainers tell him he’s allowed to do and not do too much too soon. Do you find yourself fighting yourself not trying to do too much too soon? 

“I would say I have great doctors, you know, (James) Voos and UH (University Hospital) did a great job of tightening me up down there. So, I’m definitely following Voos and Joe’s (Sheehan) plan, and Pat Rock’s, they’re doing a great job of kind of keeping me not so frustrated. But, we have a great plan, I’m sticking to it. I’m doing whatever they tell me to do.” 


Did you have a part of time where you just couldn’t believe it happened again? It happened to that same knee? 

Yeah, I mean, of course, you know, like, kind of asking ‘Why, you know, why again.’ But that’s part of my story. It is what it is.” 


Have you been working with anybody individually, specifically, that you’ve been working with through this process? I mean, is there another person that, you know, kind of going through it with? 

“I’ll say mostly, you know, Pat Rock, our trainer here, Dale Jones, strength and conditioning coach. Those two guys around the building. Back home, I have my guys I work with, you know, Michael Tremont, Jeff, and my strength coach, Coach Worthington you know, it’s a team. You know, we’re all doing our part, and I trust in him to get me back.” 


Back in April, you mentioned you had just started running on land, I guess. Is that still the extent of what you’re able to do at this point, or have you added anything else do that? 

“No, I mean, it’s just running.” 


Did you ever hear from (Minkah) Fitzpatrick? 

“No, I never did. Well, I actually, on the field, he came up to me and I was on the ground, and he said, you know I didn’t mean to do it.” 


How about even the support of your community when you go back home to your high school and Cedartown? How much has that uplifted you throughout this whole process? 

“Yeah, man, it has a lot, you know, just blessed to be able to come from such a great hometown, with so much support from my family and friends, and just able to get back there and see where I started all, just this journey and just to feel the atmosphere, you know, just how do you get more motivation to get back.” 


Nick, how has this affected your routine? Like, you’re known for all the hard work you put in. I think Andrew (Berry) said you’re here like very early in the morning. What does a day look like for you now? 

“I mean, it’s pretty much the same, you know, I’m just focusing on my knee, so I’m still here every day, all day, like I have been.” 


You’re not allowed to squat, are you? 

“I don’t know. A little bit, yeah.” 


How many hours, though, go into a day through this rehab for you? 

“I’m not even sure. You know, I probably leave here around maybe three. Got here kind of like at seven.” 


It would be hard for you, I think, to be more grateful than you already are to be able to play this game given what happened at Georgia. But in some ways, does this even multiply that a little bit more to give you just so much gratitude to be out here and going for this again? 

“It does, you know, it’s a blessing to play this game, and you can’t take it for granted because one play and it can be all taken away. And I’m just blessed to have so much support around Cleveland, you know, the fans, my friends, family, just to keep me uplifted and keep me going.” 


Nick, the other guys in your room always talk about being excited to learn from you, whether you’re on the field or not. Being off the field right now, does that allow you a little bit more hands-on work with these guys to be able to kind of imprint what you do on them? 

“It does, but I can tell you Duce (Staley) holds everyone accountable in that room, so I don’t have to say much at all. He’s on it every day, he’s making sure we’re finishing, working hard, ball security, you know, he takes control.” 


How much does that night still in Pittsburgh still kind of play in your mind or have you kind of moved on from that? 

“I moved on, you know, it happened so fast. Anyways, it was a blurry two weeks. I don’t think about it much, I’m just moving forward.” 


Nick not only were your teammates obviously affected that night, but the Steelers were all talking about you, too. How much support did you receive league-wide? Were there a lot of guys reaching out to you and know what did that mean? 

“Yeah, it meant a lot. You know, I had guys tweeting at me all across the NFL. You know, it shows at the end of the day, we’re all human and we’re all in this together. And, you know, injuries, they suck, but they do happen. But, you know, it’s all about being there for your brother.” 


Nick, your teammates right away dedicated their whole entire season to you and even when other guys got hurt, like, the season wasn’t dedicated to anybody else but you, so how did that make you feel? Because it seems like it really helped them get to the playoffs. 

“I think the biggest thing is just being around the building. And I probably don’t say much, but, you know, I come on the field and on a game day, and I just work, and I think guys noticed that and they started to see that. And, you know, when I wasn’t there you saw more guys doing a little extra more just because, and they helped us out.” 


Nyheim’s (Hines) kind of going through a comeback from his own knee injury. How much of you guys sort of worked together since he’s got here? 

“Yeah, of course. We rehab together, we work out together, and he’s in a great spot. You know, he’s doing great, and he’ll be a big part of this team.” 


You talk about your presence on the team, helping your teammates. How did that help you through this journey? 

“It helped me a lot, just like I said earlier, being around the game. Being around the guys and watching them go out there and win these games and practice hard, all that definitely motivated me to get stronger and get better and to get back out there.” 


Nick, I know you don’t have a timetable in your return, but when you look at everything that you’ve been through, continue to go through, does it almost give you an anxious feel to want to get back out there but also, like you say, take it one day at a time? 

“Not necessarily. You know, I’m doing everything I can at this point. You know, I’m right where I want to be. And when that time happens, when I feel great, I’ll be on the field. But until then.” 


At Georgia, you did play the first game the next year, right? Does it feel similar? 

“We’ll see. I don’t know.” 


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