Quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns had a pretty spectacular 2020 season. They went to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, and they won a playoff game for the first time since 1994. However, Cleveland had majority of its success without one of its most talented players — superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns sadly didn’t have Beckham for most of the season in 2020, but if he can get back to full strength for 2021, he can help his team become pretty dangerous. So, how is OBJ doing? Browns fans just got a significant injury update about Mayfield’s $15.7 million weapon, Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. suffered an injury in 2020
After going to the New York Giants with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Odell Beckham Jr. became a superstar for New York. Beckham gained over 1,300 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons, gaining as many as 1,450 in 2015. Beckham also even gained 1,305 in only 12 games in 2014, which helped him record a league-leading 108.8 receiving yards per game.
Beckham’s dominant start helped him earn three consecutive Pro Bowl selections to start his career. However, he missed 12 games in 2017 before missing four more in 2018. Beckham, though, still gained over 1,000 receiving yards in 2018, but the Giants then traded him to the Cleveland Browns in 2019.
During the 2019 season with the Browns, Beckham had the worst season of his career. He gained 1,035 receiving yards, but he only recorded a career-worst 64.7 yards per game. Beckham then had a slow start again in 2020, as he gained 319 receiving yards in six games. In Week 7, though, Beckham sadly tore his ACL. He ultimately missed the rest of the season.
So, what’s the latest injury update for Odell Beckham Jr., who will make $15.7 million in 2021?
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski gives an update on OBJ
“He’s doing great, Key, he’s working really hard,” Stefanski said on the March 4 episode. “He attacks rehab like I’ve never seen people do it. Last year, he was rehabbing from a core muscle injury. So, this is a totally different injury, but just to see the way he went about it. He exhausts every avenue to get his body right, and he’s just such a freak athlete. It’s just amazing to me the process he goes through. So, he’s working really, really hard, which should surprise no one. I think he’s in a great spot, and I’m excited to get him back here.”
That’s encouraging to hear. Hopefully, the Browns can get Odell Beckham Jr. back at 100% because he can ultimately help take them to the next level.
Baker Mayfield and the Browns can take that next step with Odell Beckham Jr.
After Odell Beckham Jr.’s injury, Baker Mayfield and the Browns went on to have a great season in 2020. They ultimately went 11-5 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Then, in the playoffs, they defeated their AFC North rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, to win their first playoff game since 1994.
What really helped Cleveland have success in 2020 was its running game, as they have two great running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Baker Mayfield also had a much better season in 2020, as his interceptions went from 21 in 2019 to eight this past season. Mayfield also improved his completion percentage from 2019 and threw for more touchdowns. His success also came with him only having Jarvis Landry, who gained 840 receiving yards, as well as Rashard Higgins and Austin Hooper, and neither of them gained over 600 receiving yards.
If Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. can develop better chemistry — especially now that Mayfield knows what it takes to succeed in the NFL — OBJ can help the Browns take another step toward AFC dominance. He’s an unreal talent, and Odell Beckham Jr. at 100% is nearly unstoppable.
The Cleveland Browns went toe-to-toe with the back-to-back AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs in 2020. A healthy Odell Beckham Jr. and a couple more solid pieces can potentially help the Browns contend for an AFC title.