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Training Camp

Odell Beckham Jr.'s time on sidelines hasn't affected on-field chemistry with Baker Mayfield

Odell Beckham Jr. hates watching practice from the sidelines.

The wide receiver didn't play in team drills in the first two joint practices with the Indianapolis Colts to recover from a hip injury and could be given more rest when the Browns play the Colts in their second preseason game Saturday.

Beckham would much rather be on the field for every first-team rep, but there's no need for him to push through any level of injury in training camp. He understands that, but it doesn't make it any less painful to watch practices from the sidelines and miss reps with his new quarterback, Baker Mayfield.

"There is no point in trying to push it right now," Beckham said. "I'm too competitive to be out here and not go 110 (percent). I don't know any other way. But I also don't like being here and not being able to go, so it's tough. But you just trust their plan. That's really all I can do."

Check out photos from the second day of joint practices with the Colts in Indianapolis by team photographer Matt Starkey

With Beckham sidelined, Mayfield has received additional reps with wide receivers likely to begin the season a bit farther down the depth chart. Neither Beckham nor Mayfield, however, will worry about their on-field chemistry when Beckham returns from his injury.

"Obviously, (Beckham) is going to be ready to go when it is time to play," Mayfield said. "He's sitting out and doing some things mentally to get used to the offense, just seeing things and hearing us communicate. So, when he comes out there, he can be full speed and know exactly what to do."

Beckham's time away from the field hasn't affected how frequently he communicates with Mayfield in practice. The duo still meets between plays to discuss what it's seen to ensure Beckham won't miss a beat whenever he returns to a normal workload in camp.

They both still feel like they're on the same page, and there's still 24 days until the Browns first regular season game, too. That's plenty of time for Beckham to shake off any rust that may have formed from missing a few practices.

"We just talk football every day," Beckham said. "It's not something I'm worried about. It's two competitive, fiery people. I don't want to let him down. I'm going to do everything in my power to be exactly where I need to be when I need to be there. As I've seen already, he's going to deliver that ball."

Head coach Freddie Kitchens isn't concerned with Beckham watching from the sidelines, either. If anything, it's given coaches more opportunities to evaluate how other wide receivers might perform with Mayfield should they receive frequent snaps in the regular season, and Kitchens is happy with how Beckham has taken an active role in leading the wide receivers group despite missing on-field time.

Kitchens didn't disclose any plans toward Beckham's availability for Saturday's game, but he has no doubt Beckham will perform well with Mayfield when he returns to the field.

"(Beckham) can still lead and make sure those guys are doing what they are supposed to do, correct them and prep them for things that are about to happen," Kitchens said. "I am not worried about Odell at all. He will be ready to go mentally and physically."

It was only three weeks ago when Beckham made two dazzling catches on passes from Mayfield during the Browns' first practice of training camp. That was after they had spent several weeks away from the field.

The chemistry was fine then, so there's no need to worry about their chemistry now.

Check out photos from the first day of joint practices with the Colts in Indianapolis by team photographer Matt Starkey

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