Late last season, it was revealed that star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had been dealing with a sports hernia for the entire 2019 season. This was likely a major component that led to Beckham having the least amount of receptions, yards, and touchdowns of his career, with the exception of the 2017 season, when he only played in four games.
On Thursday, new head coach Kevin Stefanski informed reporters that Beckham is fully recovered from his surgery in late January.
With Beckham fully healthy, he will likely be able to return to his superstar form that he showed in New York. In the four full seasons that Beckham played in New York, he averaged over 90 receptions, nearly 1,300 yards, and over ten touchdowns. If Beckham could put up those numbers, that would be a huge help towards the Browns making the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades.
However, while he was in New York, there were not many other options. Reuben Randle and a young Sterling Shepard were the only players to break 800 yards as teammates of Beckham. Jarvis Landry almost had 1,200 yards last year, and Austin Hooper was just thirteen yards away from 800, and he missed three games. With the exception of his final season in the Big Apple, all of his running backs failed to break the 1,000 yard barrier. Both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have had a season of over 1,300 yards in the last three years.
Due to the Browns having so many weapons on the offensive side of the ball, they will be throwing to other players, or handing it off enough that it seems unlikely that Beckham will be able to beat his career best season of 1,450 yards. He will be able to vastly improve on his first season in Cleveland, and if he doesn’t, the Browns should think about a trade before he becomes too costly.
With the Browns often having only two solid options in the receiving game last season, opposing teams could often double team Beckham. However, in 2020, defenses will have to account for Austin Hooper, Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, and Beckham. This will mean that OBJ will face far more one on one scenarios, setting him up for a solid year.
Considering the aforementioned details, here’s what Beckham’s numbers should look like at the end of the season:
87 receptions, 1,282 yards, 9 touchdowns.