BEREA, Ohio — Kareem Hunt was supposed to come back and help the Cleveland Browns. Maybe he’ll save them.
Hunt is eligible to play after completing his eight-game NFL suspension for two physical off-field alterations, and he’s expected to be on the field Sunday when the struggling Browns (2-6) host the Buffalo Bills (6-2).
The 24-year-old Hunt, who led the league in rushing as a rookie in 2017, went from rising young star to a violent offender. Now, he’s getting a chance to amend for his missteps, and the Browns believe he can jump start an offence that hasn’t performed well.
Hunt has been practicing for two weeks, giving him time to get into better shape and relearn Cleveland’s playbook.
His return will give coach Freddie Kitchens another option for quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is eager to see what Hunt can bring.
"We’re hoping for an immediate impact," Mayfield said. "Everyone here knows what type of player he is. It’s why he’s here. He hasn’t played in a long time, but he’s studied the game plans from what I understand the past two weeks and he’s been out there at practice and looked great. So we’re looking forward to see what happens."
Hunt hasn’t played since Nov. 19, when he was still with the Kansas City Chiefs. They released him when he wasn’t forthcoming about an incident in which he shoved and kicked a woman during an argument in a Cleveland hotel hallway.
Hunt is expected to speak to the media for the first time this season on Thursday.