Antonio Callaway just might be the kind of bargain rookie receiver the Browns have longed for. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound wideout played just two seasons at Florida, totaling seven scores over 89 receptions, averaging 15.7 yards per grab. An off-field issue related to credit card fraud cut his college career short (he didn't play in 2017) and he failed a drug test at the combine earlier this year. But the early days of training camp showed Callaway belonged in the pros, making dazzling deep plays and flashing speed with every touch. In early August, the Browns traded third-year receiver Corey Coleman, potentially paving the way for playing time for Callaway. Initially he was expected to make an impact on special teams, but he's trending toward being a role player as a rookie thanks to his deep speed. While he's not quite worth anything more than a final-round pick in seasonal leagues, Callaway is definitely valued as a late choice in dynasty/keeper leagues and a selection in or after Round 3 in rookie-only drafts.
Callaway was limited in practice Sunday due to sore ribs, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Callaway played a whopping 78 percent of the Browns' offensive snaps in Thursday's exhibition against the Giants, yielding three catches (on seven targets) for 87 yards and one touchdown. Coach Hue Jackson admitted Sunday that Callaway played into the fourth quarter as a consequence for not divulging his legal issue from last weekend, per Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. Callaway will continue to log time in the preseason while the process plays out, with his next chance coming Friday versus the Bills.
Callaway led the team in receiving with three receptions on seven targets for 87 yards and a touchdown during Thursday's 20-10 preseason win against the Giants. Callaway entered the preseason opener with recent off-field baggage, but the rookie wideout didn't let that affect him. He showed his big-play ability by catching a short slant pass from Baker Mayfield that he took 54 yards to the house for a touchdown. If he continues to impress, he should have no problem overtaking Rashard Higgins as the team's No. 3 receiver.
Callaway will suit up for Thursday's preseason game versus the Giants, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Callaway dropped all the way to the fourth round of this year's draft for certain incidents away from the field, and yet another is dogging him at the moment. On Sunday morning, he was cited for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license, but the legal issue didn't stop him from traveling with his teammates for the Browns' exhibition opener. In the meantime, the team and NFL itself are gathering information on the traffic stop while he awaits a hearing Aug. 23, which coincides with the third preseason outing against the Eagles. When he takes the field Thursday, Callaway will be acting as a starting wideout opposite Jarvis Landry with Josh Gordon (personal) still away from the Browns and Corey Coleman jettisoned to Buffalo this past weekend.
Callaway, who was cited for marijuana possession over the weekend, is traveling to New Jersey with his teammates ahead of Thursday's preseason game against the Giants, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports. The Browns are still in the process of gathering information and seemingly don't have any intention of holding Callaway out of practice or preseason games in the meantime. The NFL is also investigating the recent incident, with the rookie fourth-round pick potentially subject to serious discipline after beginning his career in the league's substance-abuse program. In addition to his lengthy track record of off-field issues throughout college, Callaway was popped for a diluted urine sample during the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. His strong performance in training camp likely played a role in the Browns' recent decision to trade Corey Coleman, but it's now fair to wonder if the team will be left scrambling at wide receiver. With Josh Gordon (personal) still away from the team, Callaway has been soaking up first-team reps alongside Jarvis Landry. All the commotion in Cleveland could free up an opportunity for Rashard Higgins or Damion Ratley to get work with the starters.
Callaway was cited Sunday for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Between his lengthy track record of off-field issues at Florida and his diluted urine sample at the combine, Callaway entered the NFL without much margin for error, instantly earning a spot in the league's substance-abuse program. His strong performance in training camp likely played a role in Cleveland's decision to trade Corey Coleman to Buffalo, but the Browns will need to look further down the depth chart (or to the free-agent wire) if Callaway is suspended by the NFL. The team released a statement saying they're aware of the situation but won't comment further until they've gathered more information, per Nate Ulrich of The Akron Beacon-Journal.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||@New Orleans Saints||20||20.00|
|3||09/21||New York Jets||19||20.00|
|6||10/14||Los Angeles Chargers||7||17.00|
|7||10/21||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||23.75|
|9||11/04||Kansas City Chiefs||30||23.35|