CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jarvis Landry disagrees with the premise that Baker Mayfield is better off without Landry’s best friend Odell Beckham Jr., who was officially placed on injured reserve Tuesday with his torn ACL.
“I would say that’s not true at all,” Landry told 92.3 The Fan’s “Bull and Fox” show on Tuesday. “I think a lot of our offense has been solely based on having Odell on the field. And a lot of the things that have opened up for us as an offense has been because of the threat that he is. Now we’ve just got to find a way to adapt and adjust and make plays.”
Beckham tore the ACL on Mayfield’s first pass of Sunday’s 37-34 victory of the Bengals, which was picked off by cornerback Darius Phillips. Beckham suffered the injury while trying to chase Philips down and make the tackle. He went airborne, and came down clutching his left knee. After an examination on the field, he limped badly to the sideline, and soon after he and the Browns feared it was a season-ending ACL.
“It’s tough. You know? It’s tough, but, you know, his spirit is, I really can’t say,” Landry said. “It’s one of the things that, for him, it hurts. It hurts.
“And as a teammate, as a brother, it hurts to see your brother go down on the field like that, and obviously to lose him for the whole season. It’s something that’s really tough.”
In his six games and two plays this season, Beckham caught 23-of-43 target for 319 yards and three TDs, one from Landry. He also rushed three times for 72 yards, including a 50-yard game-saving reverse for a TD in the victory over Dallas, during which he scored TDs.
At halftime of the Cincinnati game, Beckham in pain and distraught, delivered inspirational messages to player such as Mayfield and rookie receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.
They took it to heart. Mayfield completed 21 straight passes and threw five touchdown passes, including the 24-yard gamewinner to Peoples-Jones with 11 seconds left. Mayfield had taken the field at his own 25 with 1:06 remaining and no timeouts left, needing at least a field goal to tie.
“First, it sucks,” Mayfield said after the game. “No words. I’d be lying to say that I was not beating myself up about it. To go into halftime and see him, and I told him I love him, and he said, ‘Go be great.’ That was what he left me with to open up the second half. That was something I continued to remember throughout the second half.”
Mayfield threw two TD passes to rookie Harrison Bryant, and one each to Kareem Hunt, David Njoku and Peoples-Jones. Rashard Higgins also caught 6-of-6 targets for 110 yards.
But Landry (5 catches for 48 yards) won’t entertain the notion that the Browns are somehow better off without Beckham, which has been the drumbeat in the national media this week.
Beckham, who will be 28 next week, will undergo surgery soon and will embark on at least a nine-month recovery. Under contract through 2023, he could possibly be on the field at the start of next season.
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