CLEVELAND — Since suffering a season-ending torn ACL in the first quarter of the Cleveland Browns' Oct. 25 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Odell Beckham Jr. has largely kept to himself when it's come to his team's success.
Taking to his Instagram story on Wednesday, however, the 3-time Pro Bowl wide receiver addressed the Browns' 2020 run, which came to an end on Sunday with a 22-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC divisional round.
“It was a bittersweet season being on the outside looking in when all I wanted was to be in it with the team,” Beckham wrote in a post on his Instagram story. “I had to put my pride aside and just watch it unfold. I’m proud and inspired by this [squad's] growth and effort this year.”
Beckham's followed the post with several pictures of his Browns teammates in action, including Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Jack Conklin, Rashard Higgins and Baker Mayfield, as well as head coach Kevin Stefanski.
After losing Beckham for the season, Cleveland went on to win six of its final nine regular-season games. Amassing an 11-5 record and clinching a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2002, the Browns went on to pick up their first postseason win since the 1994 season when they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round.
Thanks to the success Cleveland -- and in particular, Mayfield -- found with Beckham sidelined, many have speculated that the Browns may look to move on from the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in the offseason. Speaking to reporters at his end-of-season press conference on Wednesday, however, Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry disputed the notion that the Browns' offense improved because of Beckham's absence.
"I do think that there's an element of our offense just evolved over the course of the year," Berry said. "I think that's really independent of Odell. I've said multiple times, Odell's a good football player. He acclimated nicely with our program, with Kevin [Stefanski], with his teammates. Quite honestly, I just want as many good football players on the roster as possible. And he's dynamic."