The Cleveland Browns will be without wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday against the Houston Texans as he continues to recover from a torn ACL he suffered last season.
Beckham was a game-time decision for Week 1, with the Browns making the call 90 minutes before kickoff. This time around, they did not drag it out, announcing that the polarizing pass-catcher would not be on the field as the team looks to capture their first victory of the year.
“I am going to hold Odell out this week,” head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters on Wednesday. “I just felt like that was the right thing to do. Last week, I thought we had a good plan. He was very close and working very hard on the side, but just felt like it made more sense to have clarity early in the week from a game-planning and practice standpoint. That is the plan for this week.”
No Setback in Beckham’s Recovery
Stefanski made sure to note there was no setback in Beckham’s return and that it was his call for him to sit out.
“I talked to Odell about it. This is my decision, and I felt like it was the right thing to do for this week,” Stefanski clarified.
Beckham appeared on track to play in Week 1 but has had very limited live reps. He didn’t play in the preseason and was used sparingly in team 11-on-11 drills leading up to the opener. Beckham was adamant about returning on the right timeline, not necessarily the speediest one. It’ll do no good if he goes out there and re-injures himself, ultimately missing more time.
“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.”
Browns Looking to Build on Offensive Performance
The Browns had a good offensive showing in Week 1, despite the loss. As a team, Cleveland racked up 457 yards of offense — the second-highest total of the week.
“I think we started fast. That was a big emphasis for us. Now, we just need to obviously finish. It just comes down to us doing our job. All of the little things matter,” Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “On the road, we have to play a great game against a great team. It is a good lesson for us as long as we learn from it. As long we handle it, it will be a blessing in disguise that it happened in Week 1 rather than later on down the road.”
Mayfield was impressive for most of the afternoon, although a costly interception with just over a minute to go ended the Browns’ comeback opportunity.
“I definitely was not trying to throw it straight to No. 21 (Chiefs CB Mike Hughes) – that is for damn sure,” Mayfield said. “I was trying to throw it out of bounds.”
The Browns are a hefty 12.5-point favorite against the Texans this week with a chance to move to 1-1.
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