Ronnie Harrison Jr.’s first game of the season didn’t last long, with the Cleveland Browns safety being ejected after pushing a Kansas City Chiefs coach along the sideline.
Harrison was the Browns starting safety and exited the game during the Chiefs’ first drive. The flag was initially called on the Chiefs for unsportsmanlike conduct, but officials later reversed the call and Harrison was disqualified for the rest of the game. The Kansas City coach — who did push back — was identified as assistant Greg Lewis. He will likely face a fine as well for the sideline clash, where he also appeared to step on a downed Chiefs player.
“I’ve never seen a player take a shot at a coach before,” former NFL official Gene Steratore said on the broadcast.
The Browns were already shorthanded at safety, with second-year defender Grant Delpit sitting out with a hamstring injury. Harrison’s ejection forced MJ Stewart and rookie Richard LeCounte III into more action.
Harrison, Delpit Impressed Despite Injuries
Harrison notched 38 tackles and an interception he returned for a touchdown last season. Defensive coordinator Joe Woods talked about Harrison during minicamp and was ecstatic about the improvements he was showing on tape.
“With Ronnie, I was watching film yesterday. I said, ‘Who’s that guy in the post?’ They said, ‘That’s Ronnie.’ ‘Ronnie?’ Just in terms of what he’s done so far, working on his movement skills, bending more in his back pedal, he looks like a different guy,” Woods said. “And he has a natural feel when he’s in the box, so I think he’s set up to have a really good year for us.”
New Browns safety John Johnson III has had nothing but good things to say about both Harrison and Delpit.
“Both of those guys are smart players. Everyone knows that they can do everything. You can move them all around, versatile and athletes. I think the thing is just the work ethic,” Johnson told reporters this week. “Grant sitting back from that injury, and he is going to be a big part of the defense this year. Ronnie is just exceptional. I do not know how a team did not lock him in for a long time. Hopefully, that will happen. We are just going to go out there and have fun. Hopefully, all three of us can put in a lot of work for the team.”
Odell Beckham Inactive Against Chiefs
The Browns were without Odell Beckham Jr. for the opener against the Chiefs, with the receiver landing on the inactive list despite some positive momentum during the week that seemed to indicate he would play. Beckham is coming off a torn ACL he suffered last season.
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 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.