Since meeting during their high school days, on to playing at LSU together and now with the Cleveland Browns as teammates once more, the friendship of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham has endured.
Hence, Beckham’s season-ending ACL injury has been a difficult hit for Landry, but one that he’s drawn motivation from.
Asked Thursday if Landry felt he was playing the remainder of the 2020 season for himself and Beckham, Landry responded emphatically.
“Absolutely,” Landry said via team transcript. “He would do anything to be out here on the field. The guys that are in this building from the coaching staff to the players that take the field with him, we all love the way that he worked. We all loved the leader that he was, the player that he is and the way that he made plays to help us win these football games because honestly, we could not have really done that without him. For us, we have to just continue to play for each other and play for him. He is a part of this. He is a part of this so that is definitely added motivation for sure.”
Injured early in the Browns’ victory over the Bengals in Week 7, Beckham underwent successful ACL surgery Tuesday and is prognosticated to be ready for a 2021 return. Nonetheless, it’s an arduous turn not just for Beckham but for his close friend as a vacancy remains on the field.
“Every day that I come out here, I am still looking to the left and right hoping that he was out here,” Landry said. “Just from there, just making sure that I am doing my part as a brother, as a friend being there for him and making sure that his spirits are continually lifted, along with his family and friends, as well. I am just praying for a speedy recovery. I just can’t wait to get him back out there on the field doing the things that he loves.”
The Browns (5-3) will face the Texans (2-6) on Sunday in their second game since Beckham’s injury and searching for their first win without him after a loss to the Raiders.
Landry has been dealing with a rib injury, but he is playing through it. Landry leads Cleveland with 33 receptions and 419 receiving yards. However, he’s been shut out of the end zone, so consider that more motivation.
“It hurts my heart. It hurts my heart so bad, but I am still focused. I am focused,” Landry said. “Again, I have to make those plays, and it will come. It will come.”
Searching for the end zone, looking to amp up his role as a leader and motivated by playing for his teammate and friend, Landry’s ready to take on the challenges ahead.
“I just try to do the right thing. I just try to do the right thing consistently and lead by example. Like you guys know, I rarely get vocal. When I do, obviously, I am heard because I do not speak much because I try to lead by example,” Landry said. “I think all the guys in the room understand the urgency and that we are going to have to step up as a position group. Everybody acknowledges that and is ready for the challenge.”