The Browns will be without Kareem Hunt for the first half of the season.
The NFL has suspended Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt eight games without pay for violating the league's personal conduct policy, the league announced Friday. Hunt's suspension will take effect at the start of the season and he will be eligible to return for the Browns in Week 9.
"I want to again apologize for my actions last year. I know that my behavior hurt a lot of people, and I again apologize to them," Hunt said in a statement. "I respect the league's decision on discipline, and I appreciate the time I spent with Commissioner Goodell last week. I'm grateful for my time with the Browns over the last month and thankful to all the people in the organization that have welcomed me. I also appreciate all of the support I received from my union through this process. My commitment to earning the trust of the league, my teammates, the organization and this community through my actions will continue, and I understand there is a lot of hard work ahead of me before I'm able to fully return to playing the game I love."
The Browns signed Hunt on Feb. 11. He was released by the Kansas City Chiefs last November after video surfaced of his involvement in an altercation where Hunt can be seen shoving and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel in February 2018. As a result of the video, the NFL launched an investigation into his misconduct. Hunt was never charged or arrested for the incident but was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List while awaiting league discipline.
The video shows Hunt arguing with a 19-year-old female Kent State student in the hotel's hallway. During the altercation, Hunt is seen shoving her after she hits him in the face. After friends try to hold back Hunt, he pushes one of them into the woman, which causes both individuals to fall. Later in the video, the woman is crouched on the ground after trying to get up and Hunt is seen kicking her. Police were called to the hotel but no one was arrested and no charges were filed. The kick from Hunt, which is shown in the video, was reportedly not included in police reports by either party.
Hunt was allegedly involved in two other incidents. One incident allegedly took place at an Ohio resort in June 2017, where he got into a physical altercation with a guest. The other altercation allegedly took place at a Kansas City night club following a Chiefs playoff loss in 2018. The NFL suspension takes all incidents into account.
Hunt will not appeal the suspension.
"We want to thank the Browns for the unwavering support they have shown Kareem," a statement from his agent read. "We also want to acknowledge the NFLPA, who has provided a great deal of guidance for Kareem throughout the process."
Last season, Hunt finished the year with 824 yards and seven touchdowns through 11 games. As a rookie, Hunt led the NFL in rushing with the Chiefs during the 2017 season, when he recorded 1,327 yards.