Jerome Ford Breaks Silence on Browns’ Addition of New RB

The Cleveland Browns finally added the missing third piece to their running back room, which backup Jerome Ford addressed during a press conference Thursday.

The Browns traded offensive lineman Tyrone Wheatley Jr. to the New England Patriots on Sunday, August 27, in exchange for second-year running back Pierre Strong Jr. As it turns out, Ford and Strong have something of a history.

“We actually went through the draft process together, so I actually knew him a little bit,” Ford said. “I think we did a visit together, so I kind of knew him as soon as he came [in] and he’s like, ‘Yo, man, what up?’ … And just whatever he asks me, he needs something, I’m there.”

Browns RB Jerome Ford Says Preseason Injury Hasn’t Hurt Routine

Jerome Ford may lose his spot on the Cleveland Browns depth chart.

GettyQuarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns pitches the ball to running back Jerome Ford during an NFL game against the Washington Commanders in January 2023.

Ford has been around the Browns’ practice facility all summer, though he hasn’t been on the playing field in quite some time. The running back left practice more than three weeks ago with a hamstring injury and didn’t participate in any of the three preseason games that followed.

He said Thursday that he feels back to normal and expects to be ready for the Browns’ regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 10.

“I was able to build a routine early, even with being injured. And last year I had an injury also that took me away for a little bit, and it kind of messed up my routine,” Ford explained. “But with getting into it so early and being able to create a routine even though I was injured, I feel like it was a big step from where I was last year.”

Jerome Ford Still Up for Browns’ Kickoff Return Duties

Jerome Ford, Browns

GettyBackup running back Jerome Ford of the Cleveland Browns served primarily as the team’s kickoff returner during his rookie season in 2022.

Ford, a fifth-round pick in 2022, made most of his contributions on special teams last season behind starter Nick Chubb and backup RB Kareem Hunt. Ford served as the team’s primary kickoff returner when healthy.

Hunt is now gone, while Ford survived the offseason and maintained his backup running back role despite some competition for the spot. Former Browns RB Demetric Felton Jr. signed with the practice squad of the aforementioned Bengals after Cleveland cut him in favor of Strong.

One logical offensive role for Ford this season is as a third-down back, although the Browns are expected to use Chubb more in those situations than they have in the past. Ford spoke to his position on the roster behind the four-time Pro Bowler on Thursday.

“I don’t know the role yet but whatever role I’m given, I’m ready to do,” Ford told reporters. “Coach been preparing all of us for everything. Whether Nick’s helmet come off or something or he will need a shoe tied on the sideline, we’ll be ready for whatever the situation is.”

Head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked Thursday about Ford potentially returning to his role as a kickoff returner during his second NFL season despite now being the No. 2 running back on the depth chart.

“Could be, yeah,” Stefanski responded. “I think we have multiple guys that can do it. Obviously, Jerome did it for us last year, did a nice job. So he’s certainly a candidate, but we have multiple guys that can do it.”

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