Despite his name not appearing on the Cleveland Browns’ injury report, whether or not RB Nick Chubb will play in Week 11 was still up in the air as of early Friday morning. Let’s take a look at the latest regarding Chubb’s status for Week 11 against the Detroit Lions, what needs to happen for him to play, and what this means for fantasy football managers.
Will Nick Chubb play in Week 11 against the Lions?
Just because Chubb has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list does not necessarily mean he will be active on Sunday. The Browns’ medical staff will now need to assess Chubb, as well as fellow RB Demetric Felton, to approve them to play Sunday.
This clearance should, in theory, be just a standard exercise, but if anything shows up following Chubb’s COVID diagnosis, his return to the field could be delayed. Hopefully, he will get to practice Friday so the Browns can see how he responds to the workload of practice ahead of Sunday.
What does Chubb’s potential absence mean for fantasy managers?
For Chubb managers, a tough decision awaits after he has been removed from the COVID list. We saw Aaron Rodgers not look himself Sunday after he had been diagnosed with COVID. However, Chubb is reportedly vaccinated, so there is the potential that any effects he has suffered from the virus would be less severe.
The issue becomes if Chubb does not get a full practice this week for some reason after being activated Friday morning. If that is the case, fantasy managers are flying blind when it comes to making a decision. On one hand, Chubb could be well-rested after a week off, assuming he has not struggled with the virus. On the other, he could struggle as Rodgers did.
Chubb has been fantastic this season. He is averaging 6 yards per rush attempt with 6 touchdowns on 120 carries. Chubb is third at the running back position in fantasy points per game at 16.1. He has largely been a reliable option, scoring fewer than 10 fantasy points in half-PPR formats just once, with a low score of 7.4 this season.
The Browns could decide to ease Chubb back in on Sunday. D’Ernest Johnson has performed well in his two opportunities to start. Therefore, Cleveland might let him carry a portion of the workload to protect Chubb as he returns.
Who benefits if Chubb is limited?
The simple answer is that if Chubb is limited this week, Johnson would profit. He has performed well in the opportunities offered to him, demonstrating prowess as a pass catcher and runner.
In Week 6, Johnson had 146 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. He also added 22 receiving yards on 2 targets. In Week 10, with Chubb on the COVID list, Johnson put up a total of 157 yards on 27 opportunities. He rushed for 99 yards on 19 carries while pulling in 7 of his 8 targets for 58 yards.
With Felton also on the COVID list in Week 10, Cleveland’s backfield options were somewhat bare. Johnson and John Kelly are the other active backs on their 53-man roster. The Browns also have FB Andy Janovich and had elevated Johnny Stanton from the practice squad for Week 10.
If neither Chubb nor Felton is available for Week 11, the Browns have other options on their practice squad. They could turn to either Brian Hill or Dexter Williams as a backup for Johnson this week. The issue is that we simply do not know how much workload they will be able to handle.