What Could Week 1 vs. Kansas City Chiefs Look Like For Odell Beckham Jr.?

What Could Week 1 vs. Kansas City Chiefs Look Like For Odell Beckham Jr.?

Danny Cunningham
3 years ago
3 min read
What Could Week 1 vs. Kansas City Chiefs Look Like For Odell Beckham Jr.?

The Browns are a little over two weeks away from playing meaningful football in Kansas City, and have a handful of questions that will be answered between now, and when 4:25 p.m. rolls around on that Sunday. On of the questions that likely won’t be answered before then is what is expected of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. that day.

So far this preseason, Beckham Jr. hasn’t played in any games – like the rest of the key starters – and he hasn’t been a full participant in training camp either. In fact, his first appearance in any 11-on-11 team drill didn’t come until this Thursday. His status – while cleared physically coming off of the ACL tear that ended his 2020 campaign prematurely – has been cloudy throughout camp. There is optimism that he will be ready for Week 1, although that isn’t a certainty. 

There are a few options as to how he may be used, if he is ready.

Full Speed Ahead

This is the ideal outcome for the Browns. 

If Beckham Jr. truly is ready to be back on the field and there’s nothing holding him back, then maybe there’s no reason he cannot play 80-85 percent of the snaps against Kansas City. This would essentially be a normal game for him. In 2019 – his last full season – Beckham Jr. played 95 percent of the offensive snaps for the Browns.

With the offense as loaded as it is personnel-wise this season, the Browns will be in a position to keep him fresh a little bit more, thus, dropping his number of snaps while boosting his level of impact.

Easing Him Back In

There’s a chance Beckham Jr. is ready for game action when the season opener rolls around, but isn’t quite ready for the full thing. 

With a 17-game season and heavy playoff aspirations for the Browns, being at full-strength Week 1 isn’t the most pressing issue. Any sort of production or output that Beckham Jr. can give early in the season should be viewed as a plus, even if it’s only 50-60 percent of the snaps for the offense. The Browns have enough depth with Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Rashard Higgins to withstand Beckham Jr. playing less than his usual allotment of snaps. 

Specialized Package

Maybe Beckham Jr. is ready to play, but not really ready to play when the season rolls around. There’s a chance the Browns are comfortable having him on the field, but not in his full allotment of snaps. 

While easing him back in has been discussed above, there’s another option that the Browns could take here. With it being a long season, having him healthy at the end of it is certainly more vital than the beginning of it. But if he can be on the field in a limited capacity early on, why not take advantage of that? The Browns could even keep Beckham Jr. on the field for a limited number of snaps, but designing ways to get the ball in his hands when he’s on the field could be vital. Even if he only plays 10-15 snaps against Kansas City, getting him five-to-seven touches in that short window could be wise.

Decoy Duty

If Beckham Jr. lines up on the field, Kansas City’s defense is going to have to pay attention to him, and probably more so than any other player the Browns have that isn’t named Nick Chubb. 

This can help the offense move down the field and open things up for Baker Mayfield, Landry, and the rest of the passing game. We’ve seen in the past days when the Browns have struggled to involve Beckham Jr. as smoothly into the offense as they would like. This time, it could be by design. Even if he’s only on the field for 20 snaps, those are 20 snaps that the defensive backs for Kansas City are on high alert that a big play to No. 13 is on its way.

If Beckham Jr. is ready for the season-opener, it will be fascinating to see what his output looks like. If he’s out there, is he out there as he normally would be? Or is head coach Kevin Stefanski planning on easing him back into action? The answer to these questions may exist, but a limited number of people know the answers to them.

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