Monday’s NFL: Giants’ Beckham skirts serious injury in loss
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 Tuesday. 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.
Jabrill Peppers (Michigan) returned a punt 31 yards, started at strong safety and had four tackles.
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.
Goodell contract talks
Commissioner Roger Goodell is on track to maintain his prominent place at the table for the next round of collective bargaining between NFL owners and players, a process that’s sure to be contentious.
The league is working on a five-year contract extension for Goodell, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal is not complete. Sports Business Journal first reported the contract negotiations.
Goodell’s contract is up after the 2019 season. The new deal would cover the 2024 season. That’s a clear signal of the trust the owners have in Goodell to help steer the league through another labor agreement, since the current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2020 season.
Goodell became commissioner in 2006. He earned just over $31 million for the 2015 season, down from about $34 million in 2014. Because the league office is no longer classified as a tax-exempt organization , the commissioner’s salary is no longer required to be made public through tax filings.
Trevor Siemian was named the Broncos’ starting quarterback after beating out Paxton Lynch.
Siemian, a 2015 seventh-round draft pick out of Northwestern, quickly surged ahead of Lynch, a first-rounder in 2016 from Memphis, when training camp opened.
“In a year or two he might be able to take over the reins,” coach Vance Joseph said of Lynch. “But right now he’s not.”
... The Jaguars will be without running back Leonard Fournette, receiver Marqise Lee and cornerback A.J. Bouye for their preseason game against Carolina on Thursday night.
Coach Doug Marrone ruled out all three projected starters Monday, adding that running back T.J. Yeldon (hamstring) and tight end Michael Rivera (hand) also won’t play against the Panthers.
Fournette has a left foot injury. Lee has a badly sprained right ankle. Bouye’s injury has not been disclosed.
Darron Lee and Leonard Williams of the Jets have been cleared by the NFL of any violations of the league’s personal conduct policy following a review of an incident at a musical festival in New York in June.
In a moment caught on video and splashed across social media, Williams stepped in front of Lee, who had an argument with a girlfriend, according to coach Todd Bowles. Williams then briefly lifted and forcibly removed his teammate from a potential altercation.
Lee was not arrested or charged with anything resulting from the situation, and he wasn’t disciplined by the Jets.
... The Ravens altered their practice schedule to visit the Pentagon.
The Ravens’ itinerary includes the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a visit to President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery and a lunch at Patton Hall.
Harbaugh says he organized the trip to reward the players’ effort in training camp.
... The NFL has signed a three-year deal to make its games available through digital streaming in China.
Tencent Sports announced that it has partnered with the league to air live and on-demand select preseason games and Thursday, Sunday and Monday night games.
Select Sunday afternoon and all postseason games for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons will also be made available in China, along with non-game league programming like the NFL draft.
NFL China Managing Director Richard Young says the deal will make games available to “hundreds of millions” of daily Tencent users.