The Browns began their joint practices with the Colts in Westfield, Ind. without superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. After practice, Freddie Kitchens revealed why.
“He’s got a little bit of something going on but we expect him back pretty soon,” Kitchens said. The news came after ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that OBJ’s injury was a hip pointer. If Kitchens is to be believed then the injury seems far less severe than a hip pointer injury tends to be.
Beckham Jr. has missed a handful of practices already during training camp, as well as the team’s first preseason game against the Redskins last Thursday. His recent absence certainly comes with some minor concerns over his continuity with the offense.
Understandably, neither Kitchens or Baker Mayfield seem too worried about that though. Beckham Jr. is a veteran who knows how to get himself ready for the upcoming season, even if he can’t be out on the field.
More than anything, this Beckham Jr. injury reveal should be all the reason the Browns need to hold the 26-year-old out of preseason action entirely. That may not be what fans want to hear – they’ve waited months to see OBJ decked out in Brown and Orange playing with the first-team offense in games – but it’s necessary.
Having Beckham Jr. healthy for the regular season is the priority here. Risking further injury by throwing him out there for a few preseason drives seems asinine when you really think about it. So don’t.
Aside from those fanatical desires to see him play there’s nothing anyone really needs to see from OBJ. At this point in his career, everyone knows what he can do and how special he is. He’s got nothing to prove and while it may delay his chemistry development process with Mayfield, that will come with time.
This injury scare may in fact be as minor as Kitchens said today. But Beckham Jr. shouldn’t play a down this preseason because of it.