This makes a TON of sense to me for a number of reasons.
Duke has probably already taken his last snap as a Cleveland Brown. We will be down 1 body in the RB room come September 8th.
Duke was set to be Nick Chubb's primary backup for the first eight weeks of the season. Duke excels at the outside the tackles running game, as well as the wheel routes out of the backfield. To properly cover Duke, defenses need to commit a defensive back to him, not a linebacker.
So if Duke is removed from the rotation, without adding any new personnel in the first eight games of the season, I am assuming his receiving duties would fall to Dontrell Hilliard. Dontrell, who has impressed the socks off the coaching staff during OTAs, can also be a capable outside runner. Once we reach game 9, the void in the inside running game will be filled by Kareem Hunt. But Kareem is only under contract for this season.
We may be facing the possibility of losing Duke this year, and Kareem next year. We all know that of all the NFL positions - RB has the shortest lifespan. Kareem may want to rebuild his image in Cleveland this season, then go elsewhere to be "the man".
My solution? Keep an eye on RB Josh Adams of the Eagles. The Philadelphia backfield was already crowded before the Eagles acquired TB Jordan Howard (Indiana/Bears) and drafted Miles Sanders (Penn State) this offseason. Josh may get squeezed out.
Josh always impressed me at Notre Dame. Good sized power back whose calling card was stick your foot in the ground and go. The Eagles signed him as a UDFA, and he went on to have a productive rookie year. He rushed for 511 yards (4.25 ypc) in 14 games before being felled by a shoulder injury. He had surgery in January to repair the torn labrum - generally a 6 month rehab. If the Eagles deem him not ready for 2019, they may IR him. If they release him - I am highly motivated to sign him.
A solid, young back that won't break the bank and certainly could add much needed depth to your RB room. What's your thoughts?