Suspended players usually don’t get to practice until the Monday of the week they can return to action. The NFL made an exception for Kareem Hunt.
The running back practiced with the Browns on Monday, though he still has two games left in his eight-game suspension.
“The time with the team enables him to re-acclimate himself and engage in conditioning work and practices,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Hunt had not practiced since August, playing in the second and third preseason games before undergoing sports hernia surgery Aug. 29. His suspension began Aug. 31.
“Very pleased,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said Monday. “I thought he looked good. He looks like he is in good shape. He moved around good. It is always good to get good players back.”
The Browns had sought permission from the NFL for Hunt to be around the team during his suspension, allowing him to rehab while helping him by having the structure of the organization. The league didn’t allow that, but they did OK his early return to practice.
“Kareem had a good spring, a good training camp,’’ Kitchens said. “He went out with an injury in training camp so any reps he gets is good. For the most part, it is just good to have him back in the building, getting him back and continuing to support him in every way possible as a player and as a person.”
Hunt becomes eligible to play in Week 10 against the Bills, almost exactly a year since his last game. He had 17 touches for 111 yards and a touchdown in a Nov. 19 victory over the Rams while still with the Chiefs.
“He’s very excited,’’ running back Nick Chubb said. “He hasn’t played all together since last year like November, October, so I can only imagine that feeling of how bad he missed the game, and I’m sure he’ll show it his first game back.’’