WESTFIELD, Indiana — When the Browns lined up Wednesday against the Indianapolis Colts, superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. simply watched the action.

Beckham went through individual drills during the joint practice at Grand Park Sports Campus, but he sat out all one-on-one, seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 periods. He hasn't participated in a team drill during a padded training camp practice since Aug. 6.

A Browns source said Beckham is dealing with a hip injury, but it's not a hip pointer, which ESPN reported as the specific issue.

"He's got a little bit of something going on, but we expect him back pretty soon," Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said after the 15th session of camp and the first of two joint practices with the Colts.

Will Beckham play Saturday when the Browns face the Colts in preseason game No. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis?

"We haven't decided yet," Kitchens said. "He probably could play, though."

Despite the lost opportunities to develop chemistry, Kitchens said he remains confident Beckham and quarterback Baker Mayfield can get on the same page. Mayfield echoed his coach's sentiment.

"Obviously, he's going to be ready to go when it's time to play," Mayfield said of Beckham, whom the Browns acquired in March via a trade with the New York Giants. "Him sitting out and doing some of these things mentally is him getting used to the offense and seeing different things and hearing us communicating it. So when he comes out there, he can be full speed and know exactly what to do."

Kitchens added Beckham "is ready to go mentally. We’ve got to wait and get him ready to go physically, but he’ll be there."

The more repetitions a receiver and quarterback get together, the better. Rashard Higgins still has a stronger connection with Mayfield than any other Browns receiver largely because they practiced so much together last summer.

"Higgins and I, that came because he was my guy on that second-team offense last year and throughout all those reps in the offseason," Mayfield said. "So [my connection with Beckham], it'll come with time. Just like Jarvis [Landry] and I [were able to ensure our] chemistry grew as well."

 

Culture shock?

Mayfield said he agreed with Kitchens' stance that the physical camp he has run this summer is a "culture shock" for some Browns players. The team has worn pads in 12 of the 13 sessions it has been allowed to don them.

"I think part of the culture change is beating some of that out, being a tougher team, being that mentality of coming out and realizing that we’re going to be the tougher people every day and work for it," Mayfield said. "So I think it’s caught some people off guard a little bit. But me being around Freddie last year, not so much."

Mayfield said he doesn't know of any players complaining about the physical nature of Camp Kitchens.

"We’ve got guys that are bought in right now," Mayfield said, "and that’s the best part about it."

 

Presence felt

Running back Kareem Hunt reminded the Colts he's an elite playmaker. He broke loose for impressive runs on back-to-back plays in an 11-on-11 drill and later showed dynamic burst after using one hand to catch a screen pass from Mayfield.

A groin injury prevented Hunt from participating in team drills until Monday.

"I thought he looked good for not taking any [team] reps [until this week]," Kitchens said. "He broke out on a few, embraced his speed and all those things you see on tape. He has been good in the pass protection. He's right where we want him to be."

The Browns hope Hunt can do everything he needs to do off the field to return from his eight-game suspension for physical altercations last year with a woman in downtown Cleveland and a man in Put-in-Bay. If Hunt can stay out of trouble, he'll be back in action Nov. 10 against the Buffalo Bills.

"It's great to have Kareem out there, the special talent that he is, and to get out there with us because he's going to have a long wait until he plays," Mayfield said.

Starting running back Nick Chubb broke off several long runs against the Colts, too. And in a seven-on-seven drill, Mayfield floated a pass over All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard and into the hands of Chubb.

 

Waiting game

Hunt isn't the only Browns player who'll begin the regular season by serving a suspension.

Last week, the NFL docked receiver Antonio Callaway four games for violating its substance-abuse policy. Callaway made the trip to Indiana but didn't practice because he suffered a high ankle sprain in last week's preseason opener.

"Obviously, very disappointing," Mayfield said of Callaway's suspension. "But I think Callaway’s made some changes, and we’ve seen the progress with him. Him being hurt right now hurts more right now because he could be getting reps. I think that hurts us a lot. It has given guys other opportunities to play. But I expect Callaway to come back better than ever."

 

Standout defender

Browns defensive end Genard Avery had a virtual sack against quarterback Phillip Walker and batted a pass thrown by quarterback Chad Kelly. It was the first dominant performance of camp by Avery, who missed time with an injured ankle.

"He's worked really extremely hard during the offseason," defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi said. "I was with him a few times working on his pass-rushing abilities, stopping the run, just being a game changer. I'm really excited to see what he does."

The coaches have noticed, too.

"Genard has gotten better against the run and the pass," Kitchens said. "I expect him to be out there and contributing to the team, whatever we ask him to do. He can certainly get after the passer, and we like that."

Ogunjobi rushed up the middle for a virtual sack against quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who stepped up in the pocket because of pressure from defensive end Myles Garrett.

 

Extra points

• Cornerback Denzel Ward practiced but sat out team drills with an undisclosed injury. Kitchens said he doesn't think there's any doubt Ward will be fine.

• Landry is obviously on a pitch (or snap) count. He sat out one-on-one drills and early team drills before entering 11-on-11 action later in practice.

• Running back Dontrell Hilliard finished practice with an ice pack strapped to the back of his left leg.

 

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.