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Browns' Odell Beckham Jr.: Injury Kept Me from Playing How I Wanted Last Season

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IFebruary 5, 2020

CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 22: Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Odell Beckham Jr. underwent surgery on Jan. 21 to repair a core muscle injury that he had played 16 games with in 2019. 

The Cleveland Browns wide receiver opened up to Complex's Zach Frydenlund on Monday about just how much his injury hampered him last season: 

"I think myself as well had a slice of humble pie this year, because I was hurt all year. I couldn't really say I was hurt. I didn't want to make it seem like I'm having an excuse, but I really couldn't do what I wanted. I just couldn't move the way that I wanted to, so I think that's why I'm more motivated now than ever. This is probably day nine or 10 after surgery and I'm just starting to move around and just mentally get ready for the process all over again, and just put my best foot forward." 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Dec. 8 that Beckham had "a serious and often painful sports hernia injury ... that will necessitate surgery in the offseason."

The 27-year-old still notched his fifth 1,000-yard receiving campaign in six seasons since the New York Giants drafted him 12th overall in the 2014 NFL draft out of LSU. Beckham finished with 74 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns.

Beckham didn't make any excuses, but quarterback Baker Mayfield spoke out about how the Browns handled his teammate's injury:

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mk @MKonSports

#Browns Baker Mayfield when asked about OBJ’s lingering injury: “I don’t think it was handled right.” https://t.co/kWq8iyTwL0

Mary Kay Cabot @MaryKayCabot

#Browns Baker Mayfield said the training staff should’ve seen to it that Odell Beckham have surgery in training camp and then he would’ve only missed 1 or 2 games.

Baker Mayfield @bakermayfield

Those people within our building know my intentions and where I am coming from. I truly believe that and I apologize to those that don’t deserve the backlash.... today was a good team win. On to the next one.

Beckham made other headlines, though. He and fellow receiver Jarvis Landry were reported to be telling opposing teams to "come get me" out of Cleveland:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Multiple Browns players, including Jarvis Landry, yelled “Come get me” to the Cardinals sideline on Sunday, per @MikeSilver. That’s the same phrase @JayGlazer reported OBJ has told opponents. https://t.co/ochiw0gBoo

Both strongly denied those reports with Beckham telling reporters, "I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here. We're going to figure this thing out. It's just too special to leave."

Rapoport relayed last week that the Browns feel the same way and "don't plan to trade" Beckham:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From Super Bowl Live: The #Browns want to move forward with WR Odell Beckham Jr, but how present he is this offseason and for OTAs may go a long way in determining that. https://t.co/RMfekoLrQX

The Giants traded Beckham to Cleveland last March. The Browns entered the 2019 campaign with lofty expectations to make their first postseason trip since 2002 but stumbled to finish the year 6-10. Head coach Freddie Kitchens was hired and replaced by Kevin Stefanski as a result.

Stefanski will face immense pressure from a starving franchise and fan base, but he will at least have a healthy Beckham to help shoulder the load. 

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