Odell Beckham Jr. was trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons on Sunday. Then all the right reasons. Then the wrong reasons again.
OBJ’s career has been on that kind of roller coaster the past few seasons.
There’s also been much banter about how underutilized OBJ is in the Cleveland Browns offense. OBJ’s touches have been a constant point of concern and, to some extent, outrage by Browns fans dating back to last season.
Yeah with the game on the line how you target @obj zero times……???? 🤬
— Dockery (@realDockery) October 10, 2021
When the team fell behind 20-0 to the Arziona Cardinals on Sunday, there were social media outbursts demanding Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield to get OBJ — in the words of Keyshawn Johnson — “the damn ball.”
OBJ’s Twitter trend took a positive turn when Mayfield hit him over the middle for a nice gain and he was tackled by two defenders who pile-drove him into the ground. At that point he had two catches totaling 42 yards.
The positive trend would be short-lived. Beckham got up and was noticeably in pain. He flat-footed it to the sidelines. Beckham sat down, grimaced in pain and grasped his right shoulder and arm area that he landed on.
Odell Beckham Jr. landed awkwardly on his shoulder and is now being evaluated in the locker room. pic.twitter.com/8DP94Ulm3g
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 17, 2021
The Browns were getting blown off the field at the time, and Beckham’s ability to get open was just what the doctor ordered. Cleveland’s offense was nonexistent until Beckham’s catch, and it led to the Browns’ first TD of the game, a pass from Mayfield to Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Odell Beckham Jr., who's been wincing with right shoulder pain, goes to the tent; Donovan Peoples Jones catches 11-yard TD pass to trim deficit to 20-7 with 5:06 left in the half
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 17, 2021
That catch looked as if it would be OBJ’s last contribution to the team on Sunday afternoon. He was shown hustling into the locker room for further evaluation. Some unconfirmed news reports had him out for the game.
Odell Beckham Jr. leaves Cleveland Browns' matchup with Arizona Cardinals with shoulder injuryhttps://t.co/GgwxuWTra6 pic.twitter.com/DMWey7nk8h
— WKYC 3News (@wkyc) October 17, 2021
Then all of a sudden the cameras flashed on No. 13 returning to the sideline raising his right hand high in the air as if indicating he was good to return.
Beckham did return, and he made a catch in the third quarter that fired up the crowd with the Browns cutting into the lead 23-14. The crowd even began chanting “OBJ, OBJ.”
Mayfield started targeting Beckham more frequently, but the good times don’t last for long these days for OBJ, and the receiver dropped another crucial fourth-down ball with Cleveland deep in Arizona territory. We’ve seen this act before.
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A tough break for Beckham, who just returned in September after undergoing season-ending ACL surgery last November. You have to believe Mayfield and Beckham will eventally find a rhythm.