NFL writer Josina Anderson tweeted out this morning that Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. texted her to report that he has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2020 NFL season. Beckham suffered the injury yesterday during the Browns 37-34 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Beckham was injured attempting to make a tackle after a Baker Mayfield interception in the first quarter.
Beckham was the intended receiver on the interception and the Bengals Darius Phillips picked off the Mayfield pass. As Beckham attempted to make the tackle on Phillips it appeared that he jumped into the air to avoid a player and came down awkwardly on the knee. It was reported that Beckham would have the MRI this morning and shortly after 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time the word got out the Beckham was out for the season.
This season Beckham had 23 receptions for 319 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 13.9 yards per catch. He has scored 51 career touchdowns in his career with 6,830 yards on 487 receptions and an average of 14.0 yards per catch.
The 5-2 Browns are off to their best start in almost 20 years and the loss of Beckham is crucial for the Browns going forward. Jarvis Landry will be the go to receiver for the remainder of the season with Beckham gone and Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones will be tasked with stepping up as well. Peoples-Jones only has three receptions in the 2020 season for 56 yards and one touchdown. All three of those receptions and the touchdown came in yesterday’s game against the Bengals, a good sign that the rookie knows that his role has gotten significantly larger with the news of Beckham’s injury.
This isn’t the first significant injury that the Browns offense has suffered this season, running back Nick Chubb has been out for several weeks with a MCL injury, but the Browns do expect him to return at some point this season. Kareem Hunt has picked up the slack and D’Ernest Johnson, the second year back out of South Florida has stepped into the back up role.
It is obvious that the loss of a player with the talent and leadership that Beckham has is significant, but for the Browns to continue on the path they are on they are going to need these younger players to step up their roles much earlier than they thought they would have to.
For Browns fans that have long suffered through bad front office moves, head coaches that didn’t have a clue, drafting players that were complete busts and not making the playoffs since 2002, this season could be deemed a success based off of their 5-2 start. But this fandom is looking for more, they want to make it back to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. They want to win a playoff game for the first time 26 years, and they were hoping that Odell Beckham Jr. would take them there. So for the rest of the 2020 season the Browns are going to have to find that player to step up and fill the giant hole that the loss of Beckham leaves.