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Is Kareem Hunt playing today vs. the Ravens?

Is Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt expected to be playing this week after being activated off of IR following his Week 6 calf injury?

After being on the injured reserve since Week 6, is Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt expected to play in Week 12? As Hunt continues to return from his calf injury, will the Browns have him available this week when they take on the Ravens, and what does that mean for fantasy managers?

Update 11/28/21: According to the Browns, Kareem Hunt will be active for their game against the Ravens.

Will Kareem Hunt play in Week 12 as he recovers from a calf injury?

The Cleveland Browns activated Hunt from the IR on Friday ahead of their Week 12 game against the Ravens. Hunt was placed on the IR after suffering a calf injury back in Week 6 and has missed the following five games. On Wednesday, November 24, the Browns designated Hunt for return to practice. That gave them 21 days to activate him to the 53-man roster or place him on season-ending IR.

However, Cleveland needed just a couple of days before activating Hunt. Although he is listed on the Browns’ injury report as questionable, the expectation is that Hunt will play. This game against the Ravens is one the Browns simply cannot afford to lose. Hunt is a huge part of their offensive identity (running and play-action).

Can he start back where he left off?

Hunt was having a strong 2021 season prior to the calf injury. In the four weeks prior to the injury, he had averaged 69.3 rushing yards per game and scored 4 rushing touchdowns. Additionally, he had seen 5 targets per game and averaged 32.3 receiving yards per game.

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Hunt had been playing around 40-55% of the snaps when Nick Chubb was healthy earlier in the season. In his final game before the injury against the Cardinals, he saw 69% of the snaps with Chubb out and likely would have seen more had he not got injured.

Should fantasy managers be cautious with Hunt this week?

The questionable tag that Hunt has been designated with should give fantasy managers reason to pause Sunday. While it seems unlikely the Browns would have activated him from the IR simply to make him inactive this week, they might be cautious with him. In the combination of Chubb, D’Ernest Johnson, and Demetric Felton, the Browns have several RB options available to them.

Hunt is a risky proposition for fantasy managers as he returns from his calf injury. He could very easily just be used in certain high-leverage situations. That would limit his ceiling, while also meaning his floor could be virtually non-existent. With a bye next week, it is hard to imagine the Browns using Hunt to a level that risks losing him for the rest of the season. Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that Hunt will be the third-down back today.

If you have stashed Hunt this long as a fantasy manager, you are likely desperate to use him. However, the risk is extremely high that he just plays a handful of snaps and/or he’s utilized as a decoy as much as an actual weapon.

Whether you start Hunt this week or not depends on your situation. If your roster is a mess and you need the spark, the risk is probably worth it. However, if you have a solid roster and can wait two weeks, that might be the wiser move this week.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

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