BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns’ medical staff came under not so friendly fire following Sunday’s 27-19 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the first installment of “The Battle of Ohio” at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
In the minutes following the win over the Bengals, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield held his customary postgame press conference and in response to a question about wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. playing through a significant injury, he ripped the medical staff for their handling of the issue.
Browns coach Freddie Kitchens addressed the matter after Monday’s film session, and like him, center JC Tretter and linebacker Joe Schobert came to the defense of the organization’s medical personnel.
“I can speak to my experiences, and I’ve obviously worked with them quite a bit in the last year or so now,” Tretter said. “They are great trainers, great people, as well, and they always are looking out for your best interests and what’s going to make it the best for you and keep you healthy and keep you on the field. So I can’t say enough good things about the guys in there, from top to bottom.
“I’ve never had a bad experience, I don’t know anybody who has had a bad experience with them. I think they always try to do what’s best for the player. That, as a player, is all you can ever ask is that those guys are always looking out for you, and it’s always delicate, but I have full confidence in them, what they do, the way they approach the team and the players individually. Again, there’s not enough good things I can say about our training staff.”
Schobert echoed Tretter’s sentiments during his press conference at team headquarters in Berea.
“I’ve only had very positive interactions with our medical staff,” Schobert said. “They’ve done everything the right way toward me, in my opinion. Anyone who knows Baker knows he’s an emotional, fiery guy. He’s a competitor. In his heart, he wants whatever’s best for our team.
“If he speaks something after a game, especially after a competitive game like ‘The Battle of Ohio,’ he’s a young guy. Things are said out of context or he went down a trail that he didn’t actually mean, but I know where Baker’s heart is, I know the training staff and I don’t think that’s going to be a real problem for us.”
Despite being hampered by an injury, Beckham Jr. has made an impact during the 2019 season.
In 13 games this season, his first with the Browns, Beckham Jr. has converted his 59 receptions into 844 yards, a 14.3 yards-per-catch average, with a long play of 89 yards and two touchdowns. Also, Beckham Jr. has rushed for 10 yards on three carries.
On the Browns, Beckham Jr. is second only to his close friend and former Louisiana State University teammate, Jarvis Landry, in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. Beckham Jr. is tied for the best yards-per-reception average among wide receivers and has the team’s longest scrimmage play of the season, regardless of position, all while dealing with what is being reported that he is in need of sports hernia surgery.
“I’ll probably end up talking to Baker about it,” Tretter said. “I’m sure I’ll chat with him about it. Again, I think you can ask a lot of people in this locker room and they’d all echo similar things of what I said about how good our training staff is here.”
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