Nick Chubb has never been more effective and efficient as he's been in 2021.
The fourth-year RB is averaging more than 100 rushing yards per game and 6.0 yards per carry. Those are both career bests as he looks to keep it going Sunday night in a big, AFC North showdown in Baltimore.
ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Chubb as he wrapped up his preparations heading into Sunday Night Football.
CB.com: How'd it feel to get back on the field after missing Week 10 against the Patriots?
Chubb: It felt good to get back out on the field with the guys. We got a win, so it was a great feeling getting back out there, getting tackled, getting some runs and having fun with the team.
CB.com: You said you weren't at 100 percent, but it certainly looked like it. What was it like getting into the swing of things with just one practice going into it?
Chubb: It was tough. I had 10 days off. I came into practice last Friday, and that was the only time I touched the ball before Sunday. It was a little rough in the beginning, but I kind of got into a rhythm. I still felt a little rusty and a little winded, but that was probably because of the 10 days off, not COVID. Overall, I felt pretty good.
CB.com: The team got into a situation at the end where it needed to run the ball to close it out. What do you like most about those situations?
Chubb: We all buy in. It's a mindset going into 4-minute offense. We know we had a chance to win the game, and it came down to us getting a couple of first downs. Our mindset was, let's go win this game right now and we don't have anything else to worry about. It's on us, and all the guys just have the same mindset. We were going to get down and dirty. Everybody knew we were running the ball, but it didn't matter. That's what we do pretty well here is run the ball. That's our go-to. It was just us vs. them, and they knew what was coming.
CB.com: What changes for you when you're running the ball and they know you're running it?
Chubb: Nothing changes. It's just what we always do. My thinking doesn't change, but up front those guys get real down and dirty. They try to (eliminate) people up front. Also, (FB Andy Janovich) blocking. It's a different mindset for those guys.
CB.com: You've missed three games this season, and Kareem Hunt has been out for a while, but D'Ernest Johnson has really impressed. What have you liked from what he's done?
Chubb: He's an amazing player. That's what I've always seen from him. He's just not gotten that opportunity to show anyone else. Since he's been in camp three years ago, I always saw something in him. He's amazing and can do everything well. He can run, catch and is a great pass pro blocker. He's just a great player all-around, and it's great to be here with him.
CB.com: Hunt was designated for return earlier this week. What's it been like to see him recover from his injury?
Chubb: That's been great seeing. Kareem is a tremendous player, also. He brings a lot of energy to the team, intensity. He plays with a passion because he loves football so much. He runs extremely hard, so this team has definitely missed that. We can't wait to see him back out there with us.
CB.com: How has he stayed engaged throughout this absence?
Chubb: He's done everything but play. He's been at practice, been at meetings, been working out and rehabbing, also. He's always been around with us. The only thing that's missing is him playing Sunday. We look forward to him doing that hopefully this week.
Check out exclusive photos from the practice fields at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus of the Browns preparing for their Week 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens
CB.com: What's it been like not having Stump Mitchell in the room the past month?
Chubb: Ryan (Cordell) has definitely been doing a great job filling in for Stump. He has us in the right positions and is very smart. Stump, he's our guy and we love him. He brings passion and he's still coaching us and being there for us every way he can. He's going through a lot right now, but the running backs room loves Stump. He's the reason why we are who we are. We miss him, for sure, and love having him around.
CB.com: Looking ahead to Sunday, what does the offense need to do to get back on track?
Chubb: We need to start fast and finish strong. There have been times in games where we put a good drive together and the next drive is three-and-out. We need to be more consistent in everything we do and get things rolling fast.
CB.com: How has the offense rallied behind Baker Mayfield playing through his multiple injuries?
Chubb: It shows how tough he is. He's a team player, for sure, and he's going out there and helping us win anyway we can. He's battling through some injuries, we all know he's beat up, but you can barely tell because of how tough he is.
CB.com: M&T Bank Stadium is the site for one of your best games as a Browns player. What do you like about playing there?
Chubb: Overall, it's a rivalry game. We're both in the same division, and they're a great team. It's always intense going into their stadium. They have great, loyal fans. All that stuff just riles me up when I get in big games like this. I'm looking forward to going there and playing against them.
CB.com: You've got back-to-back games with the Ravens. Does that change your approach at all?
Chubb: It does not. I'm just looking at this week and just focused on this week. We play them this week, get a break in between. I'm not looking too far ahead.
CB.com: There's very little separation in the AFC North. What do these next six games mean?
Chubb: We just have to take it one game at a time. I think we're in a great position, but we have to take it one week at a time and not look too far down the road.