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Beckham’s season over: Browns star WR tears knee ligament

CLEVELAND (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. was in a much better place emotionally and physically. This was going to be the season he changed minds.

He was determined to make 2020 — and its many obstacles — a special year, re-establish himself as one of the NFL’s best players and lead the Browns back to the playoffs, along with with best friend and teammate Jarvis Landry.

Beckham won’t get the chance.

The star receiver’s second season with Cleveland ended on Monday after an MRI confirmed he sustained a torn left knee ligament in the opening minutes of Sunday’s 37-34 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Beckham’s injury is a devastating personal blow and a potentially major setback to the Browns, who are off to their best start since 1994 and eyeing their first postseason appearance in 18 years.

They’ll have to get there without Beckham.

“Obviously, it’s a big loss,” coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He’s a huge part of what we do, so now we just have to huddle up and find some different ways and find some different people and put them in that role. … I’m sick for Odell.”

The three-time Pro Bowler got hurt when his left leg buckled while he was trying to make a tackle after Baker Mayfield’s first pass was intercepted by Bengals cornerback Darius Phillips.

An MRI taken Monday in Cleveland confirmed the diagnosis of the torn ACL, an injury that typically requires nine months to one year of recovery time. The team said Beckham will be placed on injured reserve, but Stefanski did not have a timetable on when he will have surgery.

On what became his final play of 2020, Beckham, who was slowed last season by a core muscle injury, was chasing Phillips down the sideline when his leg got twisted awkwardly.

He immediately grabbed it, was taken directly to the locker room and didn’t return.

The Browns (5-2) played well without Beckham, who for all his talent hasn’t been able to make a strong connection with Mayfield since arriving in a blockbuster trade from the New York Giants before last season.

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