The Cleveland Browns went out and spent in an effort to improve their passing game this offseason, sending first- and third-round draft picks in addition to starting safety Jabrill Peppers in exchange for All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. it was one of the most significant moves made of the entire offseason around the NFL.
But while he’ll take the field when the Browns open their season this weekend, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be at 100 percent. In fact, he has been dealing with a hip injury of some kind that he first suffered over a month go during practice at a seemingly random moment.
“I don’t even know how it happened”, he told Cleveland.com. “Just one day after practice I was feeling weird. No route or no play, no cut and it just kinda happened. When my adrenaline’s going I can’t feel anything”.
Beckham has been held out of practice in some capacity almost since then, and throughout the offseason hasn’t gotten many reps at all working with the first-team offense and quarterback Baker Mayfield as he heads into his second year, which has made people wonder how that’s going to look on the field in terms of chemistry.
More immediately, however, he has to see how he even plays and how his body responds when he takes the field for the first time, because he has been limiting himself even when he has been on the field.
“Especially with what I’ve had going on, I’ve been kind of afraid to just open up”, he said, referring to his hips while he’s running a route. “It’s something that hinders me from fully sprinting as fast as I can. I’d rather get to Sunday to open up than be running around and hinder myself before the game”.
While Beckham is an elite talent by any metric, one area in which he has fallen short is in terms of availability. He missed four games last season, and 12 the year before that, meaning that he’s missed as many games as he’s played over a two-year span. In all, he’s missed 21 games out of 80 possible opportunities since being drafted in 2014.
But he’s still caught 390 passes for 5476 yards and 44 touchdowns over those five years, doing so in 59 total games. In case you were wondering, that translates to three seasons plus 11 games, and if you prorate his numbers, he is averaging 106 receptions for 1485 yards and 12 touchdowns per 16 games.
That’s the talent that the Browns traded for, but they’re also getting his health history along with it.