Cleveland receiver Jarvis Landy pulled off a veteran move in a 37-34 victory against the Bengals in Week 7.
With the clock winding down in the final minute and Baker Mayfield preparing to spike the football, Landry noticed tight end Harrison Bryant was off the line of scrimmage on the other side of the field. Landry waved Bryant on to the line, Mayfield spiked the ball with 17 seconds left, and that set up a game-winning TD pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones.
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Veteran move, indeed.
“Afterward being able to go to Harrison and tell him, ‘Hey, sometimes it doesn’t work out like we practiced it,'” Landry told Sporting News. “We had to improvise on the time, the play, the situation and the moment. He was right. He was doing what he was coached to do. My instincts took over at that point to make sure he was on the ball.”
Landry, who has partnered with USAA and its Salute to Service sweepstakes, made a heads-up play that is part of the reason why Cleveland is 5-2 this season. The Browns have compiled that record despite losing star running back Nick Chubb — who remains on injured reserve with a knee injury — and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who suffered a torn ACL against the Bengals.
Landry said Mayfield — who finished with 297 yards and five TDs against Cincinnati — is a huge reason for that continued success.
“He had a tough week the week before (against Pittsburgh),” noted the veteran wide receiver. “It was good for him, for our team. Forget the critics. Forget what people are saying. Whatever.
“He still went out there and did what he needed to do in the moment. That’s what we’re going to continue to need on a week in and week out basis from every guy. Not just Baker. We all have to play our best after losing a guy like Odell, who can never be replaced. We all have to pick our game up that much more.”
Landry now becomes the lead receiver with a group that includes Rashard Higgins, Peoples-Jones and Bryant. Higgins totaled 110 yards last week, Peoples-Jones continues to improve as a rookie, and Bryant scored two TDs.
“We had a tremendous draft class this past year, and a lot of players have come over in trades and things like that,” Landry said. “We’re able to sign Rashard back to us. That really popped up and showed with those guys making the plays that they did.”
Landry, who leads the Browns with 29 catches and 367 yards, has yet to catch a touchdown this season. Yet it’s that leadership that will continue to be a factor.
“I always continue to try to lead by example, and when there are opportunities for things to be said I always — depending on the moment — try to step and say the things that are on my heart,” he said.
Cleveland can take another step toward its first playoff berth since the 2002 season with a home victory against the Raiders on Sunday. Landry — who is now in his third year with the Browns — said the toughest part of the season has been waking up to take 6 a.m. COVID-19 tests.
That will be worth it if the Browns can continue its winning season.
“It’s crazy times in 2020,” said Landry. “Maybe we can get more fans in some time here in December or January and we get close to hopefully being in the playoffs. Maybe the world opens again, and we have a packed stadium going into the playoffs and the Dawg Pound really going. Hopefully, that happens.”
Landry teamed up with USAA and is encouraging military members and veterans to enter the “USAA Salute to Service” sweepstakes, which runs through Nov. 30. They can win one of five “Ultimate Fan Cave” grand prizes which includes a virtual experience with an NFL player. Landry is one of those five players. “I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for the people that have served in our country, and the people — the families — that send loved ones overseas for our families. It’s something that I can’t thank them enough or be grateful enough,” he said.