In Freddie Kitchens’ eyes, the response has already happened.
Nick Chubb fumbled twice on back-to-back carries in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots during a first-quarter stretch that ultimately swung the game. Unfazed, Chubb kept plugging away and found success on the ground on his way to his third 100-yard game of the season, rushing for 131 on 20 carries.
That’s why Kitchens expects more of the same - yards, not fumbles - from arguably the most consistent player and personality on the entire team.
“Nick is a professional, high character, just all of the intangibles that you have in a football player, Nick has,” Kitchens said. “I have total confidence that Nick is going to continue to work and I expect him to have a good game, just like how he always does.”
Chubb ranks third in the NFL with 738 rushing yards -- good for an average of more than 105 per game -- and has cleared 120 in three of his last four games. It’s the fifth-highest total in Browns history for a player through the first seven games of a season. The other four totals were produced by the legendary Jim Brown.
The Browns' 53 man roster as of December 13, 2019.
-- Kitchens pulled out a surprising statistic during his opening comments Wednesday.
Over the last five years, 42 players have made their first start at quarterback. They’ve gone 16-25-1 in those games, “which is a lot better than you would just assume,” Kitchens said.
Denver’s Brandon Allen will be the 43rd player Sunday when he makes his debut in place of veteran Joe Flacco, who is out with a neck injury.
“(Allen) is going to do a good job preparing,” Kitchens said. “Those guys do a good job of coaching those guys, where they are prepared to play the game. And the stats of those quarterbacks, 60 percent completion percentage, 200 yards passing. We got to prepare for him just like he is a starter. He is officially now an NFL starter. We have had experience with that before and guys have been successful against us. We got to prepare for him."
-- Safety Damarious Randall remained sidelined Wednesday as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.
Randall suffered the injury late in the action of Cleveland’s Week 6 loss to the Seahawks. He did not play Sunday against the Patriots, missing his third game of the season. Without Randall, the Browns utilized a mix of Juston Burris, Morgan Burnett and Jermaine Whitehead.
-- Kitchens said the Browns will head to Denver on Friday -- two days before the game -- instead of one day before the game -- like they did Week 5 at San Francisco -- because Sunday’s game is an afternoon game. When the Browns played the 49ers on Monday Night Football, they didn’t kick off until 8:15 p.m. Eastern time.
-- Kitchens is already getting ahead of the storyline involving how the Browns plan to adjust to the altitude in Denver. Simply put, it’s not something that should affect the end result.
“We just have to go and play the game,” Kitchens said. “It does not matter where we play the game. There are 10 other teams, counting the preseason, that go in there and play. We are just one of those 10, and we have to go in and take care of ourselves. That is it.”