The Cleveland Browns are a mess.
The AFC North franchise has won four of its last five games, putting itself in the hunt for a playoff spot. But it’d be hard to tell that given all the dysfunction that plays out on Freddie Kitchen’s squad on a weekly basis.
Prior to Sunday’s 27-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, FOX’s Jay Glazer reported that Beckham has been telling opposing players he wants out of Cleveland, saying “come get me.” After the game, where Beckham caught just two passes for 39 yards, he declined comment.
“I’m not going to talk about any off-season stuff that’s going on,’’ the receiver said, per Cleveland.com. “Right now the focus is to win, 1-0, and that’s what we did today. Any other questions about it I’m not going to answer.’’
As Beckham tried to cover controversy at his locker, his quarterback was pouring fuel on the fire.
When asked in his postgame press conference about reports of Beckham playing through a sports hernia — which Beckham confirmed he’s been dealing with since training camp in his postgame — Baker Mayfield claimed “it was not handled well.”
“He is not able to run as well as he should be able to as well as he knows,” Mayfield said, per Cleveland.com. “That is frustrating for him. You can sense that somebody’s frustration and where it comes from. It was not handled the right way in our training room. It is what it is. His not 100 percent is still good enough for us.”
He later apologized to the team’s medical staff on Twitter, but the damage was already done.
“My intentions were not to throw our medical staff under the bus,’’ he tweeted. “No I don’t know all the facts about Odell’s injury. It was emotionally answered because I can sense his frustration and I care about my team and putting us in the best position to win.”
While the Browns are in the midst of a run towards the playoffs down the stretch for the first time in years, much of the media attention in Cleveland will be around Beckham’s future in the city. The wide receiver feels equipped to handle it.
“I’m used to it. I’ve been dealing with this for three or four years,” Beckham said, per Cleveland.com. “It’s the same thing that’s going on, not anything that I can’t handle.’’