Finding answers at wide receiver is a must for Browns
Cleveland took a big hit with the loss of Jarvis Landry for at least the next three games. One of Landry’s best abilities is his availability, and without his presence, there will be a lot of pressure on second-year receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and rookie Anthony Schwartz to step up.
Both were at fault for turnovers in the first half against the Texans, but need to push through the growing pains quickly. Not only are they needed immediately for the team to succeed, but they carry high hopes from the franchise and fanbase to grow into reliable receivers for the future.
The Bears dealt with the Bengals passing game fairly comfortably for most of the game and only really buckled when the strain of offensive inefficiency became a burden late in the game.
Their defense boasts a nice secondary, led by safeties Eddie Jackson and Tashaun Gipson, the latter of whom was a former ball-hawk for the Browns. The deepest position for the Bengals is probably wide receiver, and they have a pretty impressive passing attack with Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and rookie Ja’Marr Chase as targets for Joe Burrow. The Browns do not possess that level of talent despite the usefulness of Rashard Higgins and youngsters Peoples-Jones and Schwartz.
One possible lift for the Browns at receiver is the potential return of Odell Beckham Jr. from his tough ACL injury suffered mid-way through last season against the Bengals. Beckham has All-Pro caliber abilities but hasn’t had more than a few standout games in Cleveland yet, and to make matters worse he’s struggled to come back from his knee injury in time for the 2021 season.
He was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, and signs are pointing to him being available for action on Sunday. The Browns have arguably never needed him more than they currently do since trading for him in the 2019 offseason, and his experience and ability could go a long way to achieving victory against a tough Bears defense this weekend.