Browns star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did not catch a pass on three first-half targets in Thursday night’s 17-14 victory over the Denver Broncos and uncharacteristically dropped a pass for the second consecutive game.
But after the game and again Friday, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski praised Beckham, who was listed as questionable after injuring his right shoulder in Sunday's home loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The injury was diagnosed as a Grade 3 sprained AC joint, USA Today's Josina Anderson reported Wednesday.
Stefanski said although Beckham fell on the shoulder with 42 seconds remaining in the first half against the Broncos, he expects Beckham to be able to play Oct. 31 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Beckham slipped trying to make a catch along the sideline and was shaken up when he went back to the Browns bench.
"It affected him negatively because it hurt," Stefanski said of Beckham's fall, "but he fought through it and made some plays for us. I do anticipate that he'll come out of this thing."
Playing his fifth game since he returned followed surgery to repair his torn left ACL in November, Beckham finished with two catches for 23 yards on six targets. They came on back-to-back plays to start the Browns' 75-yard touchdown drive on their first possession of the third quarter as they took a 17-7 lead.
Beckham went through extensive pregame warmups, but Stefanski said after the game Beckham did not feel 100%.
"Odell wanted to play very very badly, and he wanted to be out there with his teammates very, very badly," Stefanski said Thursday.
That may excuse the pass Beckham dropped on a second-quarter drive that stalled at the Cleveland 47. Stefanski agreed with the suggestion that Beckham was experiencing pain in the first half.
"I think so. I don't see him drop very many balls in practice or games," Stefanski said. "He fought very, very hard to make it to that game, went through pregame warmup, felt comfortable putting him out there. He made some plays for us in the second half.
"He's hard on himself. He doesn't ever expect to have the ball on the ground."
Beckham ranks third on the Browns in catches with 16 receptions for 226 yards.©2021 www.beaconjournal.com. Visit beaconjournal.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.