The Cleveland Browns' offense saw a resurgence in the 2020 NFL season under rookie head coach Kevin Stefanski. Their offensive line saw a huge improvement under coach Bill Callahan, finishing the season as the best-ranked offensive line in NFL.
Over the season, there were plenty of injuries on offense for the Browns. The biggest was perhaps Odell Beckham Jr's ACL injury that prematurely ended his campaign. In his absence, wide receivers Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones became a bigger part of the offense. Both receivers made good use of the opportunity and showed the Browns' coaching staff that they can be impactful weapons for the team in the 2021 NFL season.
A bigger role for Donovan Peoples-Jones in Cleveland Browns' offense
The Cleveland Browns had to adopt the next-man-up mentality as the season progressed. With injuries piling at key positions, rookies were asked to step up and make the most of the opportunity. When third-year wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge suffered a season-ending injury early into the campaign, Rashard Higgins was called upon to take his place.
Similarly, Donovan Peoples-Jones had to step up when Odell Beckham Jr went down with an ACL injury. The rookie out of Michigan was selected in the sixth-round of the 2020 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. He was primarily the punt returner on the special team, but when Odell Beckham Jr went down, he became the deep threat for the Browns.
Peoples-Jones made one of the most important plays of the Cleveland Browns' season. Against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Browns needed a touchdown to win the game with no time-outs left. With just 14 seconds on the clock, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield found Peoples-Jones in the endzone, which helped the Browns register a narrow 37-34 win over the Bengals.
Given that he's proven to himself to be a reliable performer and will cost less than $1 million in 2021, Donovan Peoples-Jones will likely play a big role in Cleveland Browns' offense this upcoming season. With Landry and Beckham bound to command the majority of a defense's attention, Peoples-Jones could become a consistent target for Mayfield.