PITTSBURGH (AP) — Nick Chubb has spent the better part of a decade as the heart and soul of the Cleveland Browns.

There is no player more respected in the locker room. No player more committed on the field.

All of which made the sight of the star running back being carted off in the second quarter of a 26-22 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night — his left knee shredded, his season over — gut-wrenching.

“It (freaking) hurts,” defensive end Myles Garrett said.

The 27-year-old four-time Pro Bowler has been one of the constants for a franchise trying to establish itself as a perennial contender. His sixth season in the NFL ended on the second play of the second quarter when Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick came in low for a tackle at the end of a 5-yard run early in the second quarter and delivered a hit to Chubb's legs. Chubb's knee buckled underneath him.

After the play, a teammate grabbed Chubb's hand to try to help him to his feet, and Chubb shook his head while clutching his left knee. He undid his chinstrap and rolled over onto his side.

Chubb suffered a major injury to the same knee in 2015 while in college at Georgia — a dislocation with three torn ligaments. Like the previous injury, the one Monday night was difficult to watch, and ESPN declined to show replays of the play where he was hurt.

Chubb remained on the ground for several minutes while teammates gathered in prayer nearby. He eventually left on a cart and was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure but was on his way back to Cleveland by the time the Browns were packing up after a 20th straight regular-season loss in Pittsburgh.

Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanki did not have the specifics on the extent of Chubb's injury but expects him to be out for the remainder of the season.

“We feel, obviously, for Nick,” Stefanski said. “But I know Nick and his teammates know, and you have to move on.”

That won't be easy, particularly after such a publicly painful injury.

NBA star and Ohio native LeBron James and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson were among those who expressed support for Chubb on social media.

James posted he was “ praying for the absolute best," with Jackson offering a similar sentiment.

All contents © copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved