One of the big things to come out of the Cleveland Browns 40-25 thumping of the Baltimore Ravens was Odell Beckham Jr. Or how Odell Beckham Jr. was held to two catches for 20 yards.
That’s not all of it. If OBJ is held for 20 yards, the Browns answered with one Jarvis Landry, who had eight receptions for 167 yards. This isn’t like the Detroit Lions a few years back where you covered Calvin Johnson and dared them to go to their other wideouts. The Browns have a few ways to beat you.
Except for the fact that Landry is in the concussion protocol. There’s no guarantee he’ll return for Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. The fact he gets an additional day to be cleared certainly helps his chances rather than it being a Sunday game, but I remember Alex Smith going into the protocol in 2012 and being held out of the next week’s Monday night game. That Monday night game was also Colin Kaepernick’s debut.
So this is where Callaway comes in. If Landry isn’t able to suit up because of the concussion protocol, Callaway will need to be that No. 2 receiver behind Beckham. The Browns have demonstrated that if a team shuts OBJ down, they’ll just go to the ground or to Landry. Without Landry, that obviously ruins the option.
Callaway finished 2018 with 43 receptions for 586 yards. He was suspended the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He may be the man behind OBJ if Landry doesn’t get cleared in time. If Landry can pass protocol by Monday night is one question, if Callaway can fill in if the 49ers take OBJ out of the game is quite another.
The 49ers secondary will have some question marks with the loss of Ahkello Witherspoon so if Brown has some rust from the suspension, it benefits the secondary. Of course, there’s still Nick Chubb running around so the 49ers will need to account for that as well.