Beckham Jr. says former Browns DC Williams told players to hurt him

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., right, rushes during the first half in an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans. (David Richard/AP)

BEREA, Ohio — Odell Beckham Jr. says former Browns defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams instructed his players to "take me out" of a preseason game in 2017.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver sustained an ankle injury when Cleveland’s Briean Boddy-Calhoun cut his legs out while he was with the New York Giants. Beckham said current Cleveland players told him that Williams instructed them to "take me out of the game, and it’s preseason."

Beckham also accused Williams, who was Cleveland’s interim coach last year and now defensive co-ordinator of the New York Jets, of teaching "cheap shots and dirty hits."

The Browns visit the Jets on Monday night.

Williams was suspended by the NFL for one season for his role in the infamous "Bountygate" scandal in which the New Orleans Saints were found to have operated a bounty system where players were paid bonuses for hard hits and deliberately injuring players.

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