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Krykslants: Browns lose OBJ for the season with ACL tear

Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL in a game against the Brown on Sunday.
Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL in a game against the Brown on Sunday.

OBJ is going on IR with an ACL tear.

Odell Beckham Jr., the Cleveland Browns’ star wide receiver, is done for 2020 after the club confirmed Monday he blew out his left knee in Sunday’s win at Cincinnati, while chasing an interceptor of Baker Mayfield’s.

An MRI confirmed the torn-ACL diagnosis.

“Incredibly disappointed for him,” Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters, per

It’s another gut-punch for “OBJ,” a three-time Pro Bowl pick who just hasn’t been able to make the splash in Cleveland he’d hoped when his first NFL team, the New York Giants, traded him there in March 2019.

Beckham caught 23 passes for 319 yards this season, which ranked 59th and 45th in the NFL, respectively, after Sunday.

“Obviously it’s a big loss,” Stefanski said. “He’s a huge part of what we do.”

The Browns seemed to do fine without him, in rallying to win in the final seconds at Cincinnati.

Although Beckham’s good friend, Jarvis Landry, leads the Browns with 29 catches for 367 yards, and although Mayfield threw five touchdown passes after Beckham’s injury on Sunday, you’ve got to think OBJ’s loss will indeed hurt the Browns against better defences.

“Now we’ll just have to huddle up, find some different ways,” Stefanski said. “It’s our job to figure that out.

“Odell, the energy he brings to practice, the energy he brings to games — no one else is going to be able to bring that type of juice.”

Beckham will enter 2021 fully five years removed from his last of three Pro Bowl appearances, 2014-16. He averaged 6.7 receptions per game in that span, but only 5.1 since 2017.

Similarly, he caught 35 touchdowns in his first three seasons, but only 16 over four seasons since.


Seattle ranks first in total offence, last in total defence … Seattle and Arizona, the NFL’s No. 2 offence, combined for 1,091 total yards — most in the league since 2013 … The NFL’s last undefeated team, 6-0 Pittsburgh, is a five-point underdog this week at Baltimore … New England committed its first offensive penalty of the season, after 271 snaps, per CBS … San Francisco is 3-0 on the East Coast, outscoring foes 104-28.


Hospital staff cheered Washington head coach Ron Rivera on his way out Monday after he received his last treatment for cancer … Kansas City head coach Andy Reid said Monday he’s “not that concerned” about PK Harrison Butker’s five missed extra points in seven games. He should be … Baltimore expects to have newly acquired DE Yannick Ngakoue this week for its showdown against Pittsburgh. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh on Monday would not confirm reports his team is about to sign former Dallas star WR Dez Bryant … NFL Network says it’s unlikely Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey returns from his high ankle sprain for Thursday’s game against Atlanta.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have confirmed Friday and Saturday reports they’re bringing in wide receiver and locker-room poison better known as Antonio Brown.

Primarily as injury insurance, head coach Bruce Arians told NBC’s Peter King.

“I mean, we got two Pro Bowl receivers (in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin). We went to Chicago (three weeks ago) with none of them, really. They were hurt,” Arians said.

“We’re on the hook for nothing in this deal. He screws up one time, he’s gone. I don’t think he will, because he wants to play.”

Arians said Evans (ankle) went into Sunday’s win at Las Vegas at 80% healthy, Godwin (hamstring) at 80% and speedy Scotty Miller (hip) at 85%.

“They’re hurting,” Arians told King. “They’re nowhere near full speed.”

Brown has one more week to go on his NFL-imposed eight-game suspension — resulting from his having pleaded no contest in summer to a felony burglary/battery charge and two misdemeanours, after he allegedly attacked the driver of a moving van outside his Florida home.

Meantime, a lawsuit against Brown of sexual assault filed in a civil suit by a former female athletic trainer, are still before the courts. The NFL at some point may yet suspend Brown further because of those allegations.

Brown this week may only participate in team meetings virtually, and otherwise may only meet in person with Bucs training staff. His suspension is due to end following Tampa Bay’s game this coming Monday night against the Giants at New York.

What message Brown’s return to the NFL sends millions of North American women and men alike — outraged that any team would be permitted to bring him back into the fold, after all those abhorrent sexual-assault, sexual-harassment and charity-stiffing allegations leveled against him a year ago last month by his former trainer and others — well, you be the judge.


The New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys aren’t quite out of the playoff hunt yet.

Should the Patriots upset the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday, Buffalo would drop to 5-3 and New England would improve to 3-4 — with two months of play to go. The AFC East race would be back on.

The 2-5 Cowboys are only half a game behind 2-4-1 Philadelphia in the NFC East, and still have four games left against their fellow lowly division foes, including two against the Eagles. So they’re far from out of it.

But what are these two teams to do at quarterback the rest of the way?

After Tom Brady’s March departure in New England, and Dak Prescott’s season-ending ankle fracture two weeks ago in Dallas, each club is saddled with a one-year, low-cost veteran who — to put it in the kindest possible terms — really stunk it up in ugly losses on Sunday afternoon.

Cam Newton never looked worse in 10 years as a pro in the Pats’ 33-6 home-field loss to San Francisco. And Andy Dalton in 2½ quarters (before getting knocked out on a vicious hit) was just 9-of-19 for only 75 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and a terrible 36.1 passer rating. He left with the Cowboys trailing 22-3.

So, with the NFL trade deadline now just a week away — next Tuesday afternoon — might either team make a run at a new quarterback? The Cowboys have Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert backing up Dalton; the Patriots have Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer behind Newton on the active roster, and Jake Dolegala on the practice squad.

What quarterback perhaps available via a trade might be an upgrade?

Well, Miami’s Ryan Fitzpatrick for one.

With the Dolphins benching him for No. 5 overall draft pick Tua Tagovailoa going forward, Fitz might well do more with that delicious platter of Cowboys receiving options than Dalton has, especially once injured offensive linemen return.

It’s unlikely the Dolphins would ever deal Fitz to AFC East rival New England, however — even if that would complete the bearded vagabond’s divisional tour of duty, after stops in Buffalo (2009-12), New York Jets (2015-16) and Miami (since last year).

After Fitz, who else?

Some are calling for the Cowboys to sign Colin Kaepernick. But the last time he took an NFL snap Barack Obama was U.S. president — in early January 2017. That much rust can’t flake quickly off in mid-season.

So, as I tweeted out Monday morning, how about this wild-ass idea? Why don’t the Patriots and Cowboys just swap starters?

Newton and Dalton are both veterans discarded once already this year, both of whom are on one-year ‘prove it’ contracts, with Dalton earning a base season salary of $3 million, Newton $1.75 million.

Neither seems a fit in his current team’s offence. It’d take a few weeks, sure, for Dalton to properly digest the Patriots offence of Josh McDaniels. Ditto for Newton with Mike McCarthy’s and Kellen Moore’s offence in Dallas.

Yeah, it’s crazy. But it IS 2020. And at this point, what do either the Pats or Cowboys have to lose? Other than a lot more games.

Might as well go down fighting.

Report: NFL unlikely to suspend linebacker for Dalton head hit

How can this be?

ESPN reported Monday the NFL is “not expected” to suspend Washington linebacker Jon Bostic for his wicked head-hunting hit on Dallas quarterback Andy Dalton.

Video replays showed that Bostic lowered his head at high speed as he approached a vulnerable Dalton, then slammed into him helmet to helmet — knocking the 32-year-old groggy.

Bostic was ejected, and surely faces a stiff fine for the egregious hit. But if that clearly deliberate, vicious, concussion-causing crash does not warrant at least a one-game suspension, what would?

Not suspending Bostic without pay for a week minimum would send the exact wrong message to players, and would make a mockery of the message league leaders such as commissioner Roger Goodell have tried to convince us all for years: That player safety is their No. 1 concern.


Texans ‘not trying to trade players’

Houston Texans interim head coach Romeo Crennel didn’t exactly extinguish all the trade speculation smouldering in and around his franchise.

The NFL trade deadline is a week from Tuesday.

The Texans, 1-6, are done for 2020. But, as with a number of no-win or one-win teams, Crennel has players to inspire and coach for nine more games this season. That won’t stop the speculation and he knows it.

But he’s not gonna lie to them about it either.

“Other teams might look and feel that we are vulnerable and we might be willing to make a trade for (our) guys,” Crennel said. “But like I told the players, I’m trying to win games and I’m not trying to trade players. So, I want to keep as many good players as I can.

“Now, I know the record doesn’t say that we are very good, and we are what the record says we are, but we do have some talent. I think other teams realize that and they would like to get their hands on it. But most of the time in this situation, they’re offering peanuts and not offering legitimate trade value.”


All 32 starting QBs, after Sunday games, with last week’s rankings in brackets:

  1. Russell Wilson, Seattle (1). First blown 10-point halftime lead.
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2). Even in the snow, no probs.
  3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (3). Just like that, superb again.
  4. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay (5). Vintage Brady. At age 43. Wow.
  5. Drew Brees, New Orleans (6). Counterpunched so effectively.
  6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (7). Put on a clinic in first half.
  7. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee (8). Nearly came all the way back.
  8. Derek Carr, Las Vegas (9). Imagine if he had some wideouts.
  9. Kyler Murray, Arizona (13). What a fun playmaker to watch.
  10. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (10). Coming off a bye.
  11. Philip Rivers, Indianapolis (11). Coming off a bye.
  12. Jared Goff, LA Rams (14). Played Monday night.
  13. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina (15). Consistently good.
  14. Josh Allen, Buffalo (4). Mid-teens is probably about right.
  15. Matthew Stafford, Detroit (19). Quintessential comeback grit.
  16. Matt Ryan, Atlanta (16). How can he not think he’s jinxed?
  17. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati (17). On pace to smash rookie records.
  18. Justin Herbert, LA Chargers (21). On pace to blow our minds.
  19. Deshaun Watson, Houston (18). Yeah, it’s all on him. Still.
  20. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (23). 22/23, 5 TDs after 0/5 start.
  21. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (24). Heckuva comeback win.
  22. Nick Foles, Chicago (22). Played Monday night.
  23. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (25). Take that, Belichick.
  24. Cam Newton, New England (12). Looked as lost as could be.
  25. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota (27). Coming off a bye.
  26. Kyle Allen, Washington (31). Heckua performance vs. Dallas.
  27. Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (29). Look, it’s not all on him.
  28. Daniel Jones, NY Giants (30). Turnover machine. Alarming.
  29. Andy Dalton, Dallas (20). Concussed. Can he play this week?
  30. Drew Lock, Denver (28). Starting to struggle. Concerning.
  31. Sam Darnold, NY Jets (NR). Second half: 1/8, 4 yards, 4 sacks.
  32. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami (NR). Makes first pro start vs. Rams.


Quick thoughts on Week 8 games (all on Sunday unless noted):

  • Falcons at Panthers , Thursday, 8:20 ET: Think Falcons players and coaches will be out of therapy by then?
  • Steelers at Ravens , 1 ET: The rescheduled first of two AFC North clashes. There will be hitting.
  • Patriots at Bills , 1 ET: My oh my, have the roles flipped. First-place Bills vs. struggling, two-win Pats.
  • Titans at Bengals , 1 ET: Tennessee looks to bounce back against no-luck Cincinnati.
  • Raiders at Browns , 1 ET: Huge game for 3-3 Las Vegas. Can Baker Mayfield keep playing like THAT?
  • Colts at Lions , 1 ET: Rested Indy and its stout defence ought to handle matter in Detroit.
  • Vikings at Packers , 1 ET: Tough task for Vikings to even keep it close. Rodgers is on fire again.
  • Jets at Chiefs , 1 ET: K.C. already favoured by more than 20. And it probably will be a lot worse than that.
  • Rams at Dolphins , 1 ET: First NFL start for Dolphins rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa. Hello, Aaron Donald.
  • Chargers at Broncos , 4:05 ET: Justin Herbert just keeps on impressing as L.A. QB — what a player.
  • Saints at Bears , 4:25 ET: Short week for Chicago, after Monday-nighter in L.A..
  • 49ers at Seahawks , 4:25 ET: Seattle has finally lost. San Fran is great on the road (3-0). Coin flip.
  • Cowboys at Eagles , 8:20 ET: Show of hands — who wants to watch that Dallas D play in prime time? Bueller? Anyone?
  • Buccaneers at Giants , Monday, 8:15 ET: Last game for Bucs until their Antonio Brown after-burner kicks in.

BYES: Cardinals, Texans, Jaguars, WashingtonFT.

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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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