All signs point to Odell Beckham Jr. returning to action for the Cleveland Browns‘ Week 1 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, fellow Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry cast some doubt on whether or not Beckham will be active for the matchup with the Chiefs.
When asked about the possible return of Beckham this week, Landry didn’t exactly inspire confidence.
“Listen, he’s going at his pace. We all here support him. We all here can’t wait to see the things he’s been working on,” Landry said. “He’s been a guy that has been struck with a lot of hardships from the injury perspective.”
So will he be on the field against the Chiefs?
“We’ll see,” Landry told reporters.
Beckham Adamant About Not Returning Too Soon
Beckham has not played in the preseason and has limited team reps in practice. He’s just 10 months removed from ACL surgery, so the Browns may decide to take a slower approach as he revs up, even if he is active. Earlier this offseason, Beckham was adamant about not coming back too soon and “running his own race.”
“At this point, we’re just running our race,” Beckham said in late-July. “I feel like in the past, I’ve been caught up in this question. I’m not really here for it anymore. Whenever I’m ready to get out on the field, that’s when it will be. Whenever the team, the docs, my team, gets cleared, we’ll be ready to go. Whenever that is, Week 1, Week 17, I don’t know. Whenever we’re ready, we’ll be ready.”
Beckham played in just seven games last year before suffering the season-ending knee injury, recording 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns.
Beckham is an athletic freak and has been working hard in an effort to return even better than before. Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com has been very impressed with how Beckham has looked.
“It’s remarkable that Beckham looks as good as he does only 10 months out, but he’s proving to be quite the freak of nature,” Cabot wrote. “He’s been running full speed for months, cutting on a dime, and leaping high for receptions.”
Baker Mayfield Has Been Working on Chemistry With OBJ
The knock on Beckham in Cleveland is that he hasn’t had the best chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield. The two have been hoping to remedy that with some work on their own this offseason, most recently taking a trip to Yellowstone together, along with Landry and tight end Austin Hooper.
Mayfield thinks people have forgotten what kind of weapon Beckham is when completely healthy.
“Obviously his catching ability speaks for itself,” Mayfield told reporters on Wednesday. “But I think people forget how truly fast he is, to be able to take the top off defenses. Safeties have to worry about that. So teams are going to have to defend it — pick their poison. Because we obviously are a physical, run-first mentality team. And that’s not going to change no matter who we have out there at receiver. But he adds an element where teams are going to have to decide.”
The Browns are six-point underdogs against the Chiefs for their opener on Sunday.