“First, it sucks. No words,” Mayfield told reporters after the game. “I would be lying to say that I was not beating myself up about it. To go into halftime and see him, and I told him I love him, and he said, ‘Go be great.’ That was what he left me with to open up the second half. That was something I continued to remember throughout the second half.”
Mayfield said he thought he would have a chance to get the ball to Beckham in one-on-one coverage.
“I didn’t do that and left it short and inside,” Mayfield said. “I am probably going to beat myself up about that one for a long time. He’s a guy who fights for this team, and in doing that, he got hurt. Prayers and hopes for the best. That one sucks. Just had to refocus and find completions.”
Beckham caught 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns this season for the 5-2 Browns. He had three carries for 72 yards and a touchdown and completed his only pass attempt for 18 yards. In his absence, Landry, Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones will be expected to step up, as they did Sunday.
“They can make plays. They have shown that,” defensive end Myles Garrett said. “DPJ has shown that. Higgins has shown that over the years. It is just getting that spotlight on them, and they were ready for it. They have gotten those moments already in practice, and it is just about bringing that to the field. We all were witness to that.”
Still, Beckman is a key part of the Browns’ offense.
“He takes the tops off defenses,” offensive lineman Joel Bitonio said. “He empties boxes for us. He makes big plays. Any time you miss a player like that, it is tough. He is kind of an emotional guy, too, so he brings some energy in that sense and so you lose that. Credit to the guys — Higgins, DPJ — they all stepped up and made some big plays. [Tight end] Harrison Bryant and these young guys were balling out. It was very cool to see.”