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Kareem Hunt accuses Browns teammates of taking plays off in blowout loss to Cardinals

Jason Owens

The colossal disappointment of the 2019 Cleveland Browns season sunk to a new low on Sunday in a 38-24 loss to a last-place Arizona Cardinals team.

The loss dropped the Browns to 6-8 and eliminated their already slim playoff hopes. It also featured a fired-up Jarvis Landry exchanging terse words with head coach Freddie Kitchens, who increasingly looks like a one-and-done candidate as Cleveland’s season spirals out of control.

The Browns receiver and Kitchens both downplayed the interaction after the game.

Kareem Hunt piles on

But a new voice spoke up in Monday’s media session with harsh words for his Cleveland teammates.

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Running back Kareem Hunt, who joined the team on the field midseason after serving an eight-game suspension for attacking a woman in a Cleveland hotel, accused his teammates of taking plays off on Sunday.

“Yeah, I feel like there were some plays that everybody didn’t leave their 110 percent out there the whole play through the whole play, through the whole whistle,’’ Hunt said, per’s Mary Kay Cabot. “And we’ve all got to do that if we want to be successful.’’

After a lackluster effort in a loss to the last-place Cardinals, Kareem Hunt questioned his teammates' effort. (Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
After a lackluster effort in a loss to the last-place Cardinals, Kareem Hunt questioned his teammates' effort. (Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The third-year running back who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs doesn’t see all of his teammates playing up to his standards.

He said so while declining to name names.

“I mean, yeah, I guess so but it’s everybody,’’ Hunt said when talking about players not playing through the whistle. “You can’t point out one person or nothing like that. It’s everybody, and everybody’s got to do their job.’’

Hunt says he hustles every play

He also noted that while he said “everybody,” he wasn’t talking about himself.

“No, I just go out there and play football,’’ Hunt said. “I’m one of those guys that’s going to go out there and lay my body on the line each and every play. I ain’t going to worry about everything else.”

Hunt also praised fellow running back Nick Chubb for “doing a great job.” Chubb is one of the few bright spots on the team and appears headed for a Pro Bowl nod with 1,685 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns through 14 games.

Kitchens disagrees

As has been the theme this year in Cleveland, Kitchens wasn’t on the same page as one of his players, telling reporters on Monday that he didn’t see “any quit” in his players.

“Those guys kept fighting,” Kitchens said, per Cabot. “I don’t think there’s any quit in anybody out there. I don’t know how you distinguish that, but I know those guys fought to the very end.”

As for whether his teammates questioned Kitchens’ leadership, Hunt declined to answer in a response that didn’t deny the premise.

“I’m not answering that. I just worry about myself, so I don’t know.”

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