BEREA, Ohio – Two years ago, Jarvis Landry delivered a memorable moment from HBO’s Hard Knocks. Using more than 30 expletives, he was captured telling his fellow Cleveland Browns wide receivers that, “if your hamstring isn't falling off the f---ing bone, your leg ain't broke. … you should be f---ing practicing. Straight up, that s--- is weakness. And that s--- is contagious as f---. That s--- ain't gonna be in this room.”
Landry, yet to miss a game in his seven-year NFL career, is backing up those words with action once again.
This week, he revealed he’s been playing -- and practicing -- with a broken rib since Oct. 11 he suffered against the Indianapolis Colts. On the third play of that game, Landry hauled in a 32-yard reception. But as he was being dragged to the ground, linebacker Zaire Franklin smashed into Landry’s right side from behind. He briefly left the game, but returned shortly to finish with a game-high 88 receiving yards in Cleveland's 32-23 victory.
Landry admitted Thursday the injury “hurts” and at times can cross the threshold of “bearable.” He confessed it's affected his breathing and sleeping, too. But Landry still started last weekend’s game at Pittsburgh, and he’s continued to practice this week.
“It’s Cleveland, right? It’s blue-collar,” Landry said. “Whatever it takes. And I think that we have that mindset and that mentality here.”
Landry isn’t the only Cleveland player pushing through injury. Quarterback Baker Mayfield also suffered a rib injury in the Colts game. The team has been coy on whether Mayfield actually broke a rib, as well, but he clearly was in pain against the Steelers, who delivered several big shots to his rib area.
Landry, however, has been playing hurt through the better part of the last two seasons. A hip injury plagued him throughout the 2019 season, and eventually prompted offseason surgery. But Landry still was able to recover in time to participate in training camp and be ready for the season.
“Really, there is no one tougher on the team,” said offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. “He’s made out of burlap and tough as nails. … To have an injury like that and to play through it, it sets a fire under everybody else’s butt in that locker room. If ‘Juice’ is out there giving his best with an injured rib, then why are we not doing the same? It really does light a fire into the guys in the locker room.”
The 4-2 Browns will need that fire this weekend at Cincinnati as they attempt to bounce-back from the deflating 38-7 loss in Pittsburgh. They’ll also need to find more big plays for the Pro Bowler like the one on which he was injured. Landry has more receptions (24) and more receiving yards (319) than any wideout in the league yet without a receiving touchdown.
Landry did deliver a touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. off a trick play on the opening drive in the win at Dallas. He remains a perimeter blocker for a rushing attack that ranks No. 1 in NFL. And even hurting, he continues to stick on the field.
“That’s why he’s a leader of this football team,” said head coach Kevin Stefanski. “He’s a wide receiver, but he’s a physical player that everybody feels when he is on the field. He gives great example to really all the guys.”