Odell Beckham
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens went on record Wednesday saying that he expects the team’s starters to play in their third preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Friday evening.

Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to include recently-acquired star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Pro Bowler did not participate in full team drills on Wednesday due to a hip injury.

According to Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com, OBJ will likely miss his third straight game to open the preseason.

Kitchens noted that starters will not play in Cleveland’s preseason finale against the Detroit Lions next week. This means that Beckham Jr. will make his long-anticipated Browns debut during Week 1 of the regular season against the Tennessee Titans.

The good news here is that Cleveland appears to be playing it close to the vest with Beckham Jr. Given the relationship we’ve seen from the star receiver and second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield in practice, this shouldn’t be cause for alarm.

As for Mayfield, who tore it up in his preseason debut, he hopes to play a full half against Tampa Bay. However, that’s going to be left up to Mr. Kitchens.