On Sunday, Sean Desai’s secondary put on a show in the Bears victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field, but they’ll have another big test this week when they visit the Browns in Cleveland. HOWEVA, the Bears might catch a bit of a break before the game even starts, with the health of WRs Jarvis Landy and Odell Beckham Jr. still up in the air.
In case you missed it, Landry missed Cleveland’s Week 2 victory over the Texans with a sprained MCL, and Odell Beckham Jr. has missed each of the first two weeks of the season while he works his way back from an ACL injury suffered last November. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski had no updates on either receiver in his media availability on Monday, though Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot said there’s a “good chance” that OBJ will make his 2021 debut on Sunday against the Bears.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 20, 2021
If OBJ does indeed make his return this week against the Bears, Baker Mayfield will have a target out there that has hauled in eight catches for 81 yards and a touchdown in two career games versus the Bears.
Though I should note: Mayfield is dealing with some injury issues of his own this week, as he deals with shoulder soreness caused by a hit that saw him leave the game on Sunday briefly before returning. According to Stefanski, an MRI on Monday revealed no structural damage for Mayfield’s shoulder, but that’s still something to watch this week as the Bears prep for the Browns.
Jarvis Landry and OBJ shared an optimistic exchange about their playing statuses on Twitter on Monday. Still, Landry’s sprained MCL will almost certainly keep him out of Sunday’s matchup with the Bears as Kevin Stefanski and the Browns are planning on erring on the side of caution, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
I'm also told #Browns WR Jarvis Landry's (knee) injury "was not as serious" as it was initially thought to be. As of this moment, the current* thinking is that the proper precaution for Landry is to "miss a few games," per league source. Will monitor how Landry continues to feel.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 20, 2021
Whether or not OBJ plays against the Bears this week, the Bears will have their work cut out for them with Nick Chubb, who has rushed for 178 yards on 26 carries (6.8 YPC) and three touchdowns in the Browns first two games.
Update: Shortly after this post was published, Adam Schefter tweeted that Jarvis Landry was placed on the IR by the Browns, confirming our belief that Baker Mayfield will be down at least one downfield target this week against the Bears.
Browns placed WR Jarvis Landry on Injured Reserve.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 21, 2021