Nick Chubb was happy to hear Monday evening he was voted to the 2021 Pro Bowl for the second time in his three-year career.
Chubb, who missed four games this season due to a knee injury, has compiled what might be his best season with the Browns. He's fifth in the NFL with 931 rushing yards, has scored a career-high 10 touchdowns and is averaging a career-best 5.6 yards per carry.
"It's always special to be named to the Pro Bowl," he said. "With it being tougher to get in this year for many reasons, it's very special to me."
But the selection was also met with some disappointment.
That's because Kareem Hunt wasn't selected with him. Hunt, who is 16th in the NFL with 793 rushing yards and tied for first among all running backs with five receiving touchdowns, might not have had the same flashy numbers as Chubb or Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs, the two other running backs voted to represent the best of the AFC.
But Chubb still wishes Hunt could've been named with him. His success has come partly due to Hunt, who has split carries with Chubb all season and has always contributed to the Browns at a similar level. Chubb has 10 touchdowns. So does Hunt — five through the air, and five on the ground.
"I really wish he would have made it with me," Chubb said. "Kareem, I could see him being in it. He is an extremely talented and very special player."
Hunt certainly has the skills to have made it with Chubb. He last made the Pro Bowl in 2017, when he led the NFL as a rookie with over 1,300 rushing yards and ascended as a rookie sensation. Injuries and an eight-game suspension in 2018, however, hindered Hunt's odds of repeating that success, but he proved in 2020 he can still be one of the league's best backs alongside Chubb.
Chubb and Hunt are the only teammates in the league to each have more than 790 rushing yards, and before Hunt's recent stretch, he and Chubb were both on pace to potentially eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season.
Neither of them, though, needed that milestone as motivation to be great. Both teammates have always put the team first, a mantra they've expressed since Hunt joined the Browns over the 2019 offseason.
Both backs have always recognized their greatness, and as long as the Browns are winning games, they'll be happy.
"To be a part of it means so much to me," said Hunt, who was born in Elyria. "I definitely want to just keep rolling and keep winning. It's fun winning. That is the biggest thing."
The 1,000-yard achievements and dual-Pro Bowl selections can wait. Both running backs are close to meeting their first goal as teammates — help Cleveland make the playoffs. With 10 wins and one of the top rushing attacks in the NFL, the Browns are knocking on the door of doing just that.
The individual accolades have always been secondary. But in the future, Chubb hopes he can make another Pro Bowl with his teammate and best friend.
"I wish a lot of guys would have made it," Chubb said. "It would have been great for both of us to be in together."
Check out the best photos from the Browns win over the Giants last week by the Browns photo team