Odell Beckham Jr. inactive for Browns' season opener; Chase McLaughlin to kick vs. Chiefs

Nate Ulrich
Akron Beacon Journal
In seven games last season, Odell Beckham Jr. caught 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns and rushed three times for 74 yards and a score.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Odell Beckham Jr. will take more time to complete his comeback.

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver will be inactive Sunday when the Browns face the defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's season opener at Arrowhead Stadium.

Signs had been pointing to Beckham playing, so this a reminder to expect the unexpected in the NFL. 

Beckham suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Oct. 25 against the Cincinnati Bengals and underwent surgery Nov. 10.

On Friday, the Browns listed Beckham as questionable for the game. He stretched and warmed up a bit at Arrowhead Stadium before the Browns made a final decision about his status.

Donovan Peoples-Jones will start in place of Beckham.

Chase McLaughlin will kick for the Cleveland Browns in Kansas City

The Browns are Chase McLaughlin's sixth NFL team.

Kicker Chase McLaughlin (right hamstring), defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (illness), center JC Tretter (knee) and safety Ronnie Harrison (ankle) will be active after being listed as questionable by the Browns on Friday.

The Browns elevated Chris Naggar from the practice squad to active roster on Saturday in case McLaughlin couldn't kick against the Chiefs. McLaughlin was added to the injury report Friday.

But with McLaughlin deemed ready to go after kicking under the supervision of special teams coordinator Mike Priefer and medical personnel before the game, Naggar will be inactive.

In addition to Beckham and Naggar, the Browns made the following players inactive: safety Grant Delpit (hamstring), guard Michael Dunn (back), rookie linebacker Tony Fields II (illness), rookie defensive tackle Tommy Togiai and rookie offensive tackle James Hudson III.

Delpit's NFL debut remains on hold. A 2020 second-round draft pick, Delpit missed his entire rookie season after rupturing an Achilles tendon on Aug. 24, 2020. He then missed most of training camp this summer with hamstring issues.

The Browns announced linebacker Malcolm Smith will be their game captain.

Cleveland Browns safety Grant Delpit  on the field for the first time since his injury last August for OTA workouts on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 in Berea, Ohio.  [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

Tyrann Mathieu among Kansas City Chiefs inactives

All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu (activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday) and starting defensive end Frank Clark (hamstring) are among the players the Chiefs made inactive. They had been listed as questionable for the game.

Juan Thornhill will start in place of Mathieu. Alex Okafor or Mike Danna will start in place of Clark.

The Chiefs also ruled out cornerback DeAndre Baker, center Austin Blythe (abdomen), guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and receiver Daurice Fountain.

Starting defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi (hip) will be active after being labeled questionable for the game.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) tackles Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins (82) during an NFL divisional-round playoff game last Sunday in Kansas City.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com.