In a recent interview, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield called out the critics who claimed he performed better without star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who tore his ACL in last week's game, at his side, according to a report from TMZ.
"For one, I just think it's completely insensitive to a guy that just tore his ACL," the former Heisman Trophy winner remarked in response to his level of play without Beckham on the field.
It was announced Monday that the 27-year-old injured his knee in Sunday's matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. He is expected to miss the remainder of the 2020 season, as well as the beginning of 2021, according to Yahoo Sports. The athlete suffered the injury in the third quarter after Mayfield's intended pass to him was intercepted. As he attempted to make a tackle on cornerback Darius Phillips, he fell to the ground clutching his leg.
This is not the first time he will be forced to miss a significant amount of an NFL season. In 2017, he suffered an ankle fracture that sidelined him for a period of time. He also missed the final competitions of 2018 due to a problem with his quadricep.
Mayfield is not the only Brown to disagree with the speculation that the club is better off without Beckham, as reported by Cleveland.com. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry also spoke out against the theory in a radio show he was featured on. He acknowledged the huge loss the offense will face due to the ligament tear, but remarked Cleveland will need to adapt because of it.
"I think a lot of our offense has been solely based on having Odell on the field. And a lot of the things that have opened up for us as an offense has been because of the threat that he is. Now we've just got to find a way to adapt and adjust and make plays," he stated.
Both Landry and the starting quarterback were devastated and upset about losing such a dominate offensive force.
"It hurts to see your brother go down on the field like that, and obviously to lose him for the whole season. It's something that's really tough," Landry mentioned.
"You never wanna lose guys," Mayfield added.
The 25-year-old's dominate performance without his No. 1 wideout may be the reason some sports analysts have theorized he is better without him. The former Oklahoma Sooner was nearly perfect, going 22 for 23 in pass attempts while throwing for five touchdowns, including a game-winning pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones with only 11 seconds left on the clock after OBJ was sidelined.