CLEVELAND — Before the Cleveland Browns took the field against the Cincinnati Bengals for the first installment of “The Battle of Ohio” in 2019 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland Sunday, there was plenty of talk about the team’s star wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr.
Between reports of Beckham Jr. playing through a sports hernia injury and Jay Glazer saying on the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show that the Pro Bowl wide receiver has been telling opposing players and coaches that he wants out of Cleveland, there was no shortage of dramatic moments for the Browns, who beat the Bengals, 27-19, to secure their fourth consecutive victory at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“The drama is just drama,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “It continues to be that on the outside. Within our walls, we know exactly what we have, and we have a good relationship where it is very straight to the point. I am not worried about that.”
Browns coach Freddie Kitchens added, “I blocked it out. I do not know what else to tell you there. I expect our guys to show up, line up and do what they are supposed to do. That is all.”
According to Glazer, Beckham Jr. has made it known that he wants out of Cleveland at year’s end.
“People are now surprised about what’s happening and would he stay in Cleveland?” Glazer said on the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show. “Players and coaches around the league, they’re not…Throughout the year, Odell Beckham’s actually told other players and coaches, before games, during games, ‘Hey, come get me. Come get me out of here.’”
When Beckham Jr. addressed the media Thursday, he was vague in his response to questions about whether he wanted to remain with the Browns beyond the 2019 season, and he further declined to talk about it following the win over the Bengals.
Beckham Jr. registered only two catches for 39 yards against Cincinnati.
“He wants to win,” Mayfield said when asked if he could sense Beckham Jr. wants out of Cleveland. “I have said that over and over again. That is not going to change, and he is not going to change who he is. He is Odell, and he is proud to be who he is. He wants to win.”
RELATED | 'COME GET ME OUT OF HERE': Odell Beckham Jr. reportedly told players he wants out of Cleveland
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 as a sports hernia.
“I am not going to comment on him ‘wanting out of Cleveland,’” Kitchens said. “I just know that we have been monitoring Odell since he got back for training camp. He is dealing with something there. I do not know that surgery has been scheduled or anything like that, but we will keep monitoring that.
“It does limit him during the week. I think he has done a good job of trying to prepare, trying to push through and all that kind of stuff. As far as the other thing, I do not respond to stuff like that.”
JIMMY'S TAKE: Browns' latest win 'was tough, but let's not be picky'