Odell Beckham Jr. excused from Browns practice amid drama

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was excused from practice on Wednesday, a day after his father caused a stir by sharing a video of quarterback Baker Mayfield not throwing passes to his son.

On the team’s pre-practice injury report, Beckham’s excuse is listed as “shoulder/non-injury related personal matter.”

Beckham’s future with the Browns (4-4) has reached a pivotal moment after 2 1/2 seasons.

Coach Kevin Stefanski is scheduled to speak to reporters before practice.

As Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline neared, Odell Beckham Sr. shared an 11-minute video on Instagram titled: “Odell Beckham is Always Open for the Cleveland Browns in 2021.”

The montage of plays showed Beckham not being thrown the ball by Mayfield.

Their lack of a connection has been an ongoing issue since Beckham arrived in a 2019 trade from the New York Giants.

Compounding the problem, Mayfield played better and led the Browns to the playoffs in 2020 — ending a nearly two-decade drought — after Beckham suffered a season-ending knee injury.

If Beckham Sr.’s social media post wasn’t enough, NBA superstar LeBron James escalated the drama with a tweet that said: “OBJ will show again why he’s special. WR1 #FreeOBJ.”

Mayfield only threw two passes toward Beckham in Sunday’s 15-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had just one catch for 6 yards, and his other target was a high incompletion in the fourth quarter.

Since returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Beckham has 17 catches for 232 yards and no touchdowns this season. He’s also been playing with a sprained right shoulder that he hurt against Arizona on Oct. 17.

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