Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens dismissed the possibility of shutting Odell Beckham Jr. down for the remainder of the 2019 NFL season despite the fact that the star receiver is dealing with hip and groin injuries.
Kitchens told reporters Monday sitting Beckham is a nonstarter because he "wants to be there for his teammates."
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Beckham is suffering from a "painful sports hernia injury," a problem that stems all the way back to training camp. Rapoport added the three-time Pro Bowler will have surgery in the offseason.
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
From @NFLGameDay: #Browns WR Odell Beckham needs sports hernia surgery, but he'll play today vs. the #Bengals. ... Meanwhile, as the #Rams get ready to unleash Todd Gurley, limiting carries has worked -- He's as fast now as he was in Week 1, based on practice metrics. https://t.co/GvrOOSakgN
Following Cleveland's 27-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Baker Mayfield criticized how the team had addressed Beckham's health. Mayfield also suggested the wideout might have only missed the first two games of the regular season if he had undergone surgery in the summer.
Kitchens addressed those comments during Monday's press conference:
That isn't the only fire the team is attempting to put out. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer also reported Beckham has indicated to others outside of the Browns he wants to leave Cleveland:
Beckham's future became a storyline when he cryptically addressed a question regarding his status with the Browns for next season. He subsequently took to Twitter to downplay the story:
Kitchens also told reporters he hasn't heard anything from from OBJ regarding a possible exit.
At 6-7, the Browns are two games out of the final wild-card spot in the AFC. If they have played Beckham at less than 100 percent all year, then shutting him down now wouldn't make any sense with the playoffs still on the table.
In the event Cleveland is eliminated from postseason contention, taking Beckham off the field would be the most sensible move.