Beckham Jr. dodges serious injury in Giants’ loss


The Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t point fingers or make accusations.

After possibly dodging a major injury, New York’s flashy wide receiver calmly moved on.

No theatrics were necessary.

Beckham sprained his left ankle on a questionable hit in the first half of the Giants’ 10-6 exhibition loss to the Cleveland Browns on Monday night.

After catching an 18-yard pass from Eli Manning in the first half, Beckham was undercut by Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who drove his shoulder and helmet into the star receiver’s left leg. Beckham’s legs flipped into the air and he banged his head hard on the turf.

“I’m pretty concerned,” Beckham said. “But I’ll be all right.”

The Giants (0-2) said Beckham only suffered a sprain, but the team will have further medical tests conducted today. One of the NFL’s most electrifying playmakers, the 24-year-old Beckham caught 101 passes last season and recently said he wants to be the league’s highest-paid player.

“It feels like a sprained ankle, a rolled ankle,” Beckham said. “It feels like you know you hurt your ankle. That’s how it feels.”

Earlier, Beckham was visibly upset by what he thought was an unnecessary shot for a preseason game.

He glared at Boddy-Calhoun as he limped off the field.

Beckham, who spent the second half in street clothes on the sideline and jogged to the locker room afterward, didn’t call Boddy-Calhoun’s hit dirty.

“I don’t know, it’s just football I guess, preseason,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m not really the judge. It’s just football in my opinion.”

Browns coach Hue Jackson defended Boddy-Calhoun.

“I don’t think any of our players try to do things maliciously,” Jackson said. “It’s tackle.”

The Browns (2-0) won their second straight game after going a combined 1-19 in 2016.

Beckham’s injury came shortly after more than a dozen Cleveland knelt in a circle on the sideline and prayed during the national anthem.

Several players bowed their heads and clasped hands while others showed support by placing their hands on their teammates’ shoulders.

“The United States is the greatest country in the world,” tight end Seth DeValve said. “It is because it provides opportunities to its citizens that no other country does. The issue is that it doesn’t provide equal opportunity to everybody. And I wanted to support my African-American teammates today who wanted to take a knee.

“We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there’s things in this country that still need to change.”

All the drama upstaged Cleveland’s quarterback competition.

Brock Osweiler started his second straight game and completed 6 of 8 passes for 25 yards in two series. He was intercepted by Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who snagged a tipped pass on the Browns’ opening drive.

Osweiler came in favored to win the starting job over rookie DeShone Kizer, who scored on a 1-yard sneak and finished 8 of 13 for 74 yards.

Jackson hopes to name his starting quarterback for the Sept. 10 regular-season opener by Wednesday.

Cody Kessler, who appeared to fall out of the race, completed 7 of 7 passes for 50 yards.

After sitting out the preseason opener, Manning went 10 of 14 for 80 yards.

By Paul Wager

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