According to Odell Beckham Jr., the time he’s spending on the shelf this preseason is all by design.
The Athletic’s Zac Jackson reported on Thursday that Beckham said the Cleveland Browns “have a plan to limit him because otherwise he would overexert himself and risk making a minor injury worse.”
It was reported after Wednesday’s joint practice that Beckham was dealing with a hip injury of some kind that kept him out of one-on-one, seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills. He did not participate in the Browns first preseason tilt against the Washington Redskins either, despite suiting up.
Beckham told reporters that he’ll be on the field for the team’s opener against the Titans on Sept. 8, saying that if Saturday’s preseason game was regular season matchup, he’d be on the field. OBJ also noted that he’s not worry about the lost reps with quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“We talk every day,” Beckham told reporters after Thursday’s practice. “We talk football. We talk about just the little ins and outs of football. Even when I’m watching him make other throws, I’m still coming to ask him what is it that you’re seeing.
“So it’s not something I’m worried about. It’s two competitive, fiery people, just the way that he is, I don’t want to let him down. So I’m going to do everything in my power to be exactly where I need to be when I need to be there, and as I’ve seen already, he’s going to deliver that ball.”
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said in his media session Wednesday that Beckham, “has a little bit of something going on that we expect him back pretty soon.”
The first-year Browns skipper wasn’t all too concerned following the final joint practice with the Colts, either.
Odell Beckham Has Had Spotty Injury History Lately
Beckham has been during one of the best wide receivers in the league over his five seasons in the league.
During his half-decade stint with the Giants, Beckham hauled in 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games. He has made the Pro Bowl three-times but only played in one playoff game, which ended in a disappointing 38-13 loss.
Beckham revealed to ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he wants to reach 100 receptions, 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns this season catching balls from Baker Mayfield. All those numbers would be career-highs, other than catches. Beckham had 101 grabs during his Pro Bowl campaign of 2016.
However, Beckham has to stay on the field, which is proving to be a concern early on with the Browns. He has missed 16 games over the last two seasons.
Beckham has only played a full season once. He suffered a hamstring ailment his rookie season, a fractured ankle two seasons ago that required surgery and a quad injury last season that Anderson revealed earlier this offseason was a tear, not a bruise, which was previously reported.
Baker Mayfield Not Worried by Odell Beckham’s Absence
Mayfield spoke to the media following the Browns’ joint practice with the Colts on Wednesday and didn’t sound too concerned about his new No. 1 wide receiver being hampered by injury early on. Instead, he’s actually embracing seeing the guys lower on the depth chart getting a chance to run with the top unit.
“We have the next-man-up mentality,’’ Mayfield told reporters. “Obviously, he’s going to be ready to go when it’s time to play. Him sitting out and doing some of these things mentally is him getting used to the offense and seeing different things and hearing us communicating it. So when he comes out there, he can be full speed and know exactly what to do. But it’s great for those other guys to get out there and get a chance to see the change of pace. The more guys that are ready to play with that first group the better.”
It appears Beckham isn’t too worried about it either.
Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot has reported it’s unlikely that he is a go for Browns’ second preseason game on Saturday against the Colts.