The Cleveland Browns played it safe with Odell Beckham Jr. in training camp but it has paid off, with the star pass-catcher expected to be ready to go for Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Beckham will be ready to roll for the Browns highly-anticipated opener against the defending AFC champs, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Beckham, coming off the torn ACL suffered Oct. 25 in Cincinnati, has taken on more and more work each day, and has passed each test with flying colors. He looks great in practice, and shows no signs of wear and tear from his November surgery.
Beckham did not play a snap in the preseason and has run very few live reps in 11-on-11 in practice. But the goal has always been to be ready for Week 1 following the surgery, which he appears on track to do.
Beckham’s first two seasons in Cleveland were subpar by his standards and injury-riddled. However, the three-time Pro Bowler has been working hard to build additional chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield this offseason as he worked his way back.
Beckham is Running His Own Race
Beckham was adamant about “running his own race. As he noted earlier this offseason at his youth football camp, rushing back does nothing if he ends up on the sideline again.
“At this point, we’re just running our race,” Beckham said on July 25. “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.
Grant Delpit, Greedy Williams Also Expected to Suit Up
Two other players the Browns will have available are defensive back Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit, per Cabot. Delpit had been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, while Williams hurt his groin during the preseason.
The two former LSU standouts both missed all of last season, Delpit with a ruptured Achilles and Williams with nerve damage in his shoulder. Both were in battle for starting gigs but will not be in the first unit for Week 1. Ronnie Harrison Jr. will start at strong safety opposite John Johnson III, while rookie Greg Newsome II will start at cornerback with Denzel Ward. While starting a rookie always comes with some questions, Newsome has earned the respect of his coaches and Ward.
“I would definitely say consistency. He has been making plays out here and doing what he is supposed to do,” Ward told reporters. “He has been doing his job, but he has just been consistent every day with his technique, execution and making plays out here.
“He can play on the inside in the slot and he can play outside corner. I know the coaches and the team are very excited about that and being able to use him in multiple places. He is definitely ready for all of that.”
The Browns are six-point road underdogs for their Week 1 matchup against the Chiefs.