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Browns Place Beckham on Injured Reserve

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns placed star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on injured reserve Tuesday, two days after he suffered a season-ending knee injury in a win at Cincinnati.

Beckham tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on Cleveland’s first possession Sunday. The three-time Pro Bowler was trying to make a tackle when his left leg buckled as he began to launch himself toward Bengals cornerback Darius Phillips, who intercepted Baker Mayfield’s first pass.

Beckham will likely need up to a year to recover from the injury. He’s set to earn $15.75 million next season, with $12.97 million guaranteed.

The injury is another tough blow for Beckham, whose production has been limited in recent seasons because he can’t stay healthy. Beckham played in all 16 games last season, his first with Cleveland, but was hampered by a core muscle injury that required surgery in January.

Beckham, who turns 28 next week, was limited to 16 games combined in the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the New York Giants because of injuries.

It’s premature to speculate on Beckham’s future with the Browns, who acquired him before last season in a major trade.

When Beckham arrived in Cleveland, expectations surrounding the Browns soared. However, he struggled to find on-field chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield and there were grumblings that Beckham wanted to be traded as the Browns went 6-10.

Beckham rebuffed those rumors and said he was happy in Cleveland, where he’s been reunited with former LSU teammate and close friend Jarvis Landry.

Before getting hurt, Beckham was showing some of the breakaway speed that made him one of the NFL’s most dangerous game-breaking threats. For the season, he had 23 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns and added a rushing TD in a win at Dallas.

Now that Beckham’s season is over, the Browns are expected to give more playing time to Rashard Higgins and rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones, who caught the game-winning TD to beat the Bengals with 11 seconds remaining.

Dez Bryant joins Ravens practice squad after 2-year hiatus

Former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has moved one step closer to playing in the NFL again.

The 31-year-old Bryant signed with the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday and has been assigned to the practice squad.

Bryant last played in 2017, when he had 69 catches for 838 yards in his eighth and final season in Dallas. He signed with New Orleans in November 2018, but tore his Achilles tendon before getting into a game.

Now he’s on the cusp of getting back on the field.

Bryant said on Twitter: “My emotions running high right now… I’m thankful…I can’t stop crying.”

If he’s retained his speed and is not too rusty, Bryant could add a much-needed deep threat to a Baltimore passing attack that currently ranks 31st in yards per game. Second-year receiver Marquis Brown is currently quarterback Lamar Jackson’s most prominent target for the long ball.

Drafted 24th overall by Dallas in 2010, Bryant was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2013, 2014 and 2016. He has 531 catches for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns.

After scoring a career-high 16 TDs in 2014, Bryant endured two straight injury-shortened seasons before playing in 16 games in 2017.

He put up some impressive numbers with Dallas, but was sometimes perceived as a distraction because of his outbursts on the sideline during games and in the locker room. He was released by the Cowboys in April 2018.

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews was asked Monday what the addition of Bryant could mean for the team. His reply: “That would be cool. He’s been around the league for a long, long time. I’m excited to meet him, get around him hopefully. Just learn everything you can from a guy like that because they’ve done it and they’ve been there. It’s super exciting for me.

Baltimore waived safety Marcus Gilchrist from the practice squad to make room for Bryant.

Panthers’ McCaffrey back at

practice after missing 5 games

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Christian McCaffrey has been designated for return from the team’s injured reserve list, increasingly the likelihood Carolina’s 2019 All-Pro running back will play Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons.

McCaffrey arrived at Panthers practice Tuesday with a red jersey and a baseball cap signifying an injured player, but he quickly changed into a black practice jersey and a helmet.

McCaffrey hasn’t played since Week 2 when he suffered a high ankle sprain in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule reiterated Tuesday that he is “hopeful” McCaffrey will ready to play against the Falcons, but added that the decision was largely up to the training staff.

“He looks good,” Rhule said. “He looks like he is moving around great. We will let the medical people and him determine how much he can do and whether he can play in a game.”

McCaffrey was off to a solid start with 223 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in the first two games.

“It’s just another weapon,” wide receiver Curtis Samuel said of McCaffrey’s return. “There is no such thing as having too many playmakers out there. You give the team so many options of who is getting the ball here and who is going there. So many outlets. There is no such thing as having too many options.”

Rhule said McCaffrey was “exhilarated” to be out at practice with his teammates.

“I know he wants to play, but I also know he’s a process guy and he understands that we can’t shortcut the process,” Rhule said.

McCaffrey’s backup Mike Davis had 149 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in Carolina’s 23-16 win against Atlanta earlier this month. Rhule said Davis will still see some action at running back even if McCaffrey returns.

NOTES: Panthers left tackle Russell Okung (calf), defensive tackle Zach Kerr (toe) and guard John Miller (ankle) did not practice.

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