BEREA, Ohio – Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt said Thursday that he’s had “a lot of time to just sit and reflect and think” during his eight-game suspension, which will come to an end when he returns to the field Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
“I’ve been able to stay on top of things, thinking before you act, and not reacting to little things and just keep your emotions to yourself. … kinda settled down a little bit more,” he said.
Hunt is eligible to play again after serving an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. That stemmed from two incidents, including one in February 2018 when he shoved and kicked a woman during an altercation outside his downtown Cleveland residence. The other incident, in June 2018, involved a physical altercation with other men at Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
The release of the video showing him kicking the woman — and the fact that Hunt had lied about it — prompted the Kansas City Chiefs to release him last November, before his hometown Browns picked him up this offseason.
“I’m under a microscope. I’m not trying to put anything in jeopardy,” he said. “I had a lot of time to think about ‘If I get in this situation, how am I going to handle this? If I get in this situation, how am I going to handle that? This happened, how am I going to handle that?’ “
As part of his suspension, Hunt was banned from the team the first six games of the season. The NFL allowed him to begin practicing with the team again two weeks ago.
“I think the excitement for him to get back on the field is warranted,” said coach Freddie Kitchens. “He’s gone through a lot since his last game. As a person he’s grown. As a player he’s grown.”
Hunt was the 2017 NFL rushing champ. For the Browns, he will team up with Nick Chubb, who is second in the NFL averaging 100 rushing yards per game.
“A lot of mixed emotions,” Hunt said. “It’s going to very fun emotional game and I’m definitely going to be excited to get out there.”