Browns designate Kareem Hunt, Jack Conklin to return from IR; both practice Wednesday


BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Running back Kareem Hunt and right tackle Jack Conklin were designated to return from injured reserve Wednesday making them eligible to practice.

The news does not come as a surprise after head coach Kevin Stefanski indicated Monday both would begin their way back to practice and potentially play Sunday night in Baltimore.

“Those are two extremely key pieces in our offense,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “And obviously Kareem is a great playmaker and Jack, his play speaks for itself, so we’re looking forward to it but we’ll just handle the week as it goes and see what happens.”

The Browns have 21 days to activate them to the 53-man roster. For them to be eligible for Sunday night’s game, they need to be activated by 4 p.m. Saturday.

“I think it is great to have him out here, it was great to have him in the walkthrough and I am sure on the practice field,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He brings energy and brings a toughness to what he does. I think it gives the guys a boost to start the day.”

Hunt suffered a calf injury in a 37-14 loss to the Cardinals that forced him to miss the last five games.

“I get kind of ticked off when I can't be out there to help if we're not playing real well or whatever,” Hunt said. “It's out of your control now when you're on the couch.”

Hunt described the injury as, “a strain – a pretty bad one, too,” Wednesday while indicating that he expects to play Sunday night.

Hunt is second on the team with five touchdowns scored and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry this season.

“I think Kareem just energy wise, it’s that spark he comes in and plays with,” Mayfield said. “That’s an extremely vital part for us and when it comes to the explosive portion of our offense, we’ve been missing that with him as well so some of the shotgun plays with him coming out of the backfield whether it’s run or pass, he’s a key part of our offense.”

Hunt hopes by returning he’ll be able to restore the fire to the Browns offense, which has scored 17 or fewer points in six of their last eight games and four of the five they played without him.

“I always bring the fire, so I'm definitely going to come with a lot of energy and fire and just the love 'cause I miss the game,” Hunt said. “I miss practice. I miss playing the games. I miss everything. So I'm definitely excited.”

Conklin suffered a dislocated elbow during a 15-10 loss to the Steelers October 31 but was able to avoid surgery, which likely would’ve been season ending.

Conklin wore a brace during practice Wednesday.