Patient Question: Thoughts on the diagnosis of Nick Chubbs's knee and how would his return to sport outcomes be better after OTB PT?
What Happened to Nick Chubb?
On September 18th, 2023 during Monday night football Nick Chubb, running back for the
Cleveland Browns, suffered a season ending and possibly career threatening left knee injury.
Chubb is one of the league's best running backs, known for his downhill running style and ability to break tackles. In the beginning of the second quarter, Chubb received a handoff up the middle of the field when he was tackled by hard hitting Steelers safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick. During the tackle, Chubb was hit in the knee of his planted leg. This caused his
knee to both hyperextend and go into valgus (knee bending inward). The injury was so gruesome they decided not to show the replay on TV. He likely dislocated his knee
which could lead to a whole host of structures in the lower extremity being injured.
At the time of the injury, it was reported he only suffered a full MCL (medial collateral ligament) tear. At OTB we were skeptical of an isolated MCL tear due to the severity of the injury. Typically, these tackles can lead to injuring the "terrible triad", which would also include the ACL and medial meniscus.
On Friday September 29th, Chubb had a successful surgery to repair his MCL along with
a damaged medial meniscus and medial capsule of the knee joint. During his surgery it was
discovered there was damage to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) that will require another surgery. ACL surgery is more significant and increases his expected recovery time from 6-8 months with an isolated MCL repair to 9-12 months. While this complicates his recovery, his previous injury history complicates it even more.
In 2015, Nick Chubb was the star running back for the Georgia Bulldogs. During their
game against Tennessee, on his first play from scrimmage, Nick Chubb suffered a severe left
knee injury. Chubb dislocated his patella in addition to tearing his MCL, LCL (lateral collateral ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). Chubb went through surgery and rehabilitation in order to return to football the following year and went on to have a successful college career. He was later drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the 3rd pick in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL draft. Fast forward back to 2023 and Chubb is in line for a 2nd series of significant surgeries and a long rehab process. He’s done it before, but can he do it again? He will have access to the best equipment and modalities, but it takes more than just that to return to form as one of the best players in the NFL. That is where proper physical therapy and OTB comes into play.
At Out of the Box PT, your therapists have experience treating football players from
youth all the way up to professional levels. We know what it takes to return to sports at the
highest levels both safely and effectively due to our extensive training, advanced strength and conditioning knowledge, anatomy knowledge and mechanics of movement. At OTB we have compassionate PTs with strong manual therapy skills that have a wealth of knowledge in strength and conditioning principles to help meet the demands of all physical activities. We wish Nick Chubb a healthy and quick recovery and hope to see him running down the sideline for the Cleveland Browns!
Dr. Aaron Silverstein, PT, DPT, ATC
Physical Therapist at Out of the Box Physical Therapy