NFL Hands Down Kareem Hunt’s Punishment
15 Mar, 2019
The Cleveland Browns finally know Kareem Hunt’s suspension timeline.
The NFL suspended the running back eight games for violating the NFL personal-conduct policy, the league announced Friday.
Hunt accepted the punishment and does not plan to appeal.
“I want to again apologize for my actions last year,” Hunt said in a statement. “I know that my behavior hurt a lot of people, and I again apologize to them. I respect the league’s decision on discipline, and I appreciate the time I spent with Commissioner [Roger] Goodell last week. I’m grateful for my time with the Browns over the last month and thankful to all the people in the organization that have welcomed me. I also appreciate all of the support I received from my union through this process. My commitment to earning the trust of the league, my teammates, the organization and this community through my actions will continue, and I understand there is a lot of hard work ahead of me before I’m able to fully return to playing the game I love.”
The Kansas City Chiefs cut Hunt in late November after video surfaced of the running back shoving and kicking a woman during a Feb. 2018 incident at a Cleveland hotel. Hunt was never arrested and is not facing criminal charges. He signed with the Browns in February.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported that Hunt was in line for a minimum six-game suspension. The NFL tacked two on to that baseline.
Rapoport notes that the Browns expected an 8-10 game ban when they signed Hunt. The running back will be eligible to return in Cleveland’s ninth regular-season game
The suspension wipes out half the season for Hunt. The Browns will ride starter Nick Chubb until Hunt returns. Now that Hunt’s eight-game suspension is known, the question about pass-catching running back Duke Johnson will continue. Teams have reportedly inquired about the running back’s availability in a trade, but the Browns wanted to know how long they might be without Hunt before potentially moving forward.
Hunt is a difference-making talent when on the field. He generated 824 rush yards on 181 carries with 26 receptions for 378 rec yards and 14 total touchdowns in 2018 before being released by Kansas City. Since entering the NFL in 2017, Hunt has averaged 110.5 scrimmage yards per game — third-most among all players during that span (minimum 20 games). Only his off-field troubles have tripped him up.
The Browns have consistently stated that they believe the 23-year-old is getting the help he needs to return and improve as a person. Once his eight-game suspension is served, both parties hope they can move forward on the field.
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