Stefanski is usually coy about releasing that type of information, as the announcement that Beckham would miss the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs did not officially come out until game day, for example. But this week Stefanski wanted to get the news out sooner rather than later (quotes via a team-provided transcript):
“I am going to hold Odell (Beckham Jr.) out this week. I just felt like that was the right thing to do. Last week, I thought we had a good plan. He was very close and working very hard on the side, but just felt like it made more sense to have clarity early in the week from a game-planning and practice standpoint. That is the plan for this week.
“He was pushing to get there (against the Chiefs) but did not feel like he could get a significant number of snaps. I just felt like for this week, the prudent thing to do was let’s let these other guys get all those reps – although, they got a bunch last week – let’s gameplan accordingly and then we will update you guys as we get into next week.”
Beckham missing the game against the Texans is not a major surprise. Despite a offseason spent posting workout videos that helped fuel unrealistic expectations from some fans, the reality is that he is still only 10 months out from undergoing surgery for a torn ACL.
He was a limited participant during training camp, and even said in July that his return will come “whenever I’m ready to get on the field, that’s when it will be. So whenever that is, week 1, week 17, I don’t know. Whenever we’re ready we’ll be ready.”
With Beckham out of the lineup against the Texans, rookie wide receiver Anthony Schwartz should have an opportunity to build off a solid first game, where he finished with three receptions for 69 yards and rushed once for 17 yards to earn the top grade among rookie wide receivers from Pro Football Focus.
Beckham is not the only Browns player dealing with an injury, as offensive linemen Jack Conklin (knee), Chris Hubbard (triceps), JC Tretter (knee) and Jedrick Wills Jr. (ankle) all had the day off from practice on Wednesday and are considered day-to-day, according to Stefanski.