As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for their Divisional Round matchup against the Cleveland Browns at 2:05 p.m. Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, they're planning to limit a familiar face.
Browns running back Kareem Hunt was drafted by Kansas City in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft and started his rookie campaign with a bang. Hunt led the league in rushing yards as he finished his first year 1,327 yards.
The following season he released by the Chiefs on Nov. 30, 2018, after a videotape of him physically assaulting a woman and kicking her on the ground the previous February surfaced. Hunt has never been charged with any crime.
Tight end Travis Kelce spoke about Hunt and their relationship during his media availability on Wednesday. He said he could relate to Hunt's struggle as he was also a guy who had "red flags" out of college.
“I wish we spoke more often, that’s my brother for life," Kelce said. "To see what he’s gone through and to see him grow from everything. I’m somebody who had a few red flags coming out of college. It wasn’t always a whole lot of fun for me. I had to break through some things that were tied to my name. With that, you have to challenge yourself as a man, as a human," Kelce said. "You have to grow from it, understand how people are viewing you, and you have to move on knowing that. I think Kareem has done an unbelievable job of just going out there, playing football and keeping his head on straight. I’m happy as hell for him.”
Hunt has had a solid season this year for the Browns. The Elyria, Ohio native recorded 841 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 198 carries in the regular season. Last week against the Steelers, Hunt found the endzone twice on eight carries and collected 48 rushing yards.
After not only getting back into the league after his incident in 2019 but finding success, Kelce gave his former teammate props for getting to where he is today.
“I can only imagine how it was for him," Kelce said. "I can’t speak on it. It was probably an uphill battle that he had to deal with mentally, as well as face the reality of things. What that is, is that everybody was kind of looking at him in a negative light. He’s a guy where he walks in the building as a teammate, a friend that I’ve learned to know. He’s never had that negative light on him because of his personality and who he’s been in the building. To have to deal with that, hats off to him for battling through that and finding his way back onto a football field here in the NFL. I’m just happy for him.”