OBJ doesn’t practice, Mayfield better for banged-up Browns
CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield finally fired some passes on Friday — none to Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham missed another practice with the Browns due to COVID-19 protocols, but Mayfield, who has been slowed this week by sore ribs, appears ready to play in Sunday’s hyped AFC North matchup against the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers.
Beckham’s status remains uncertain after Cleveland’s star wide receiver was kept away from the team’s facility for the second straight day. He was sent home feeling ill on Thursday.
Beckham tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, but per league guidelines, he can’t rejoin his teammates and practice until he has a second negative COVID test within a 24-hour period. The team listed him as questionable for the matchup against the Steelers (4-0).
Coach Kevin Stefanski offered few details about Beckham other than saying he’s improving and that he’ll play Sunday — if cleared.
“He is doing better, yes,” said Stefanski, noting that Beckham has taken part in Zoom meetings. “If all goes according to plan for tomorrow, you spend even more time and you spend even more walk-through time. I think there is enough time to catch him up, barring his health.”
The Browns did get wide receiver Jarvis Landry back after he was limited with hip and rib issues. Also, starting defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi seems poised to play after missing last week’s game with an abdominal injury. Both are questionable.
Safeties Ronnie Harrison (concussion) and Karl Joseph (hamstring) are out Sunday.
Punter Jamie Gillan injured his groin in practice Thursday and is also questionable. Stefanski said kicker Cody Parkey would handle punting duties as well if Gillan can’t play.
DeCastro, Johnson out
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro and wide receiver Diontae Johnson.
The AFC North-leading Steelers ruled both players out for the showdown with the surging Browns (4-1) due to injury.
Rookie fourth-round pick Kevin Doston will start in place of DeCastro.
All the other Steelers players who missed portions of practice this week, including center Maurkice Pouncey (foot) and tight end Eric Ebron (hand), are expected to play.