CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Monday’s MRI revealed what the Browns already feared: that their top playmaking receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.
It will be a challenge to make up for Beckham’s on-field production.
He had racked up 319 yards and three touchdowns in the air, as well as one touchdown on the ground.
But as his head coach, Kevin Stefanski, pointed out, the Browns will miss more than that.
“Odell, the energy he brings to practice and the energy he brings the games, no one else is going to be able to bring that type of juice,” Stefanski said in his Zoom meeting with reporters. “It is our job to find the guys that that can go compete and that we can go put them in spots where they can succeed. I think we will be able to do that.”
One of the receivers who has already stepped up in Beckham’s absence?
Rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones, who caught his first three passes of the season in the 37-34 win over the Bengals, including the game-winning touchdown with :11 seconds left.
“We were in there around him during halftime, and it was just hard – hard for him, hard for all of us, hard seeing him in pain and in distress," Peoples-Jones said on Monday. "I just remember him telling me, he gave me a handshake and said, ‘Go be great.’ That meant a lot coming from him. I respect everything that he and Jarvis do. That was a real surreal moment.”
The Browns managed to shake off the injury to Beckham and rally to beat the Bengals to improve to 5-2.
“It is such an unfortunate part of this business, but the guys understand that the show must go on," Stefanski said. "We have talked about guys stepping up in the past, and when their number is called, they are ready to play. I think you saw that yesterday. I think the guys understand what is at stake and that guys have to step up.”