Getty The Chiefs last matchup against the Browns came in November 2018.
About 12 hours after Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt took to Instagram Live to declare next Sunday’s AFC Divisional matchup “personal,” Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has weighed in on the pseudo revenge matchup.
When asked about his former starting running back’s comments, which immediately followed Hunt’s two-touchdown performance in Sunday night’s 48-37 Wild Card win in Pittsburgh, the veteran coach took a different personal approach.
“Listen, I like Kareem [Hunt],” Reid told reporters during his press conference on Monday, via Sports Radio 810. “I’m glad things are going well for him. I know he felt bad about not being on the team last year, I’m happy for him. Things are going in the right direction for him. He’s on a good football team, great coaching staff. They won their first playoff game, there’s something to be said about that.”
Since joining the Chiefs in 2013, Reid and company have won all three regular season matchups versus the Browns by a combined score of 77-51, most recently on November 4, 2018. Kansas City currently leads the all-time series 13-11-2, in which Sunday will be the first postseason matchup between the storied franchises.
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Hunt Also Sentimental Toward Chiefs on Sunday Night
After the emotion of Sunday’s impressive win subsided for Hunt and his teammates, the former Chiefs 2017 third-rounder changed his tone quite a bit, instead highlighting some relationships he still holds near and dear to his heart.
“You know, that’s where I started and they did a lot for me,” Hunt said, via Aaron Ladd of 41 Action News in Kansas City. “I got a lot of people on that team [who] look out for me, care for me as a person and I care for them too. I probably won’t be doing too much talking to those guys, but it’ll be one or few I call to you know, chop it up and see how they’re doing and stuff. But other than that, I’m sorry, but we enemies this week, fellas.”
Abruptly released by Kansas City following a November 2018 incident in which he was seen assaulting a woman on video, Cleveland took a chance on Hunt in February 2019 and has since re-signed the Pro Bowler to a two-year, $13.25 million contract extension. After returning from an eight-game suspension to open last season, Hunt has worked in a complementary role behind two-time Pro Bowler Nick Chubb, who combine for what may be the NFL’s best running back tandem.
Looking ahead to Sunday, coach Reid is well aware of the challenge that will be slowing down Chubb and Hunt, who combined for 1,908 yards and 18 touchdowns on 388 carries in 2020.
Reid on Chubb and Hunt: “That’s where it starts and they’ve got a good QB. You’ve got to play physical with those guys.” #Chiefs
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) January 11, 2021
Hunt Previously Addressed Somber Days Following 2018 Release
Prior to last season’s regular season finale, Hunt, 25, was asked about how he handled Kansas City’s decision to part ways with him, which left him bedridden for more than half of the following week.
“I probably didn’t leave the bed for a good four or five days,” Hunt told Cleveland.com on December 23, 2019. “I stayed in my bed for like four or five days. Didn’t really turn the TV on or nothing. Just laid there and chilled.”
Hunt’s isolation even went as far as to ignore his mom’s attempts to get in touch with him while he was stuck in his Kansas City residence.
“I didn’t answer my mom, probably, for four or five days until she flew out there and popped up on me,” Hunt said with a chuckle. “I didn’t go outside or to the store, out to dinner. Nothing like that, somewhere I could be publicly recognized like that because I was all over TV, news, ESPN. So it was kind of tough in a mental state like that.”
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!