09:29am: ESPN’s Josina Anderson says Beckham texted her this morning and told her that he has not yet made a decision as to whether he will have surgery this offseason (Twitter link). However, he did confirm that he has been in pain since training camp.
08:30am: Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has largely disappointed during his first year in Cleveland. Although he is on pace for a 1,000-yard season, he has just two touchdowns and has caught just 55.3% of his targets, a career low. But there could be a reason for the disconnect between OBJ and quarterback Baker Mayfield.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Beckham has been playing through a serious and painful sports hernia injury that will require surgery in the offseason. The injury has not forced him to miss any game action, but it has kept him out of practice a great deal, so he and Mayfield have not had as much time to develop chemistry as they would like.
As Rapoport observes, Beckham has been on the injury report every week this season with either a hip or groin ailment. Hernias are sometimes characterized as hip or groin injuries, which adds credence to RapSheet’s report.
But as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes, the hernia injury is not the only thing keeping Beckham’s production from taking off. Her sources say the Browns’ offensive design is inherently flawed and that there is a disconnect between head coach Freddie Kitchens and offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Some believe that the team’s QBs, including third-stringer Drew Stanton, have too much influence over the game plan, and Beckham has admitted that he has had a hard time keeping his frustration in check.
Beckham did make some headlines earlier this week when he declined to definitively say that he wants to be back with the Browns in 2020. However, Rapoport (unsurprisingly) says it would be far-fetched to expect Cleveland to trade OBJ this offseason. But the club may make major changes to its coaching staff, so between that shake-up and Beckham’s surgery, perhaps Beckham can return to form next year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.