Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess came into his first season with the team as a player who had earned a reputation for being a very reliable slot receiver, and this stemmed from his days with the Miami Dolphins. Last season, Bess did a solid job of moving the chains for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill with 61 receptions for 778 yards, and he’s never had less than 50 catches in a season. Plus, Bess had had two seasons with over 75 receptions.
But this season, Bess has taken a turn for the worst, as he will finish the year with just 42 receptions for 362 yards. Even worse, Bess was the polar opposite of reliable, dropping an unsightly 14 passes for the league’s worst drop rate. Now, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot reports that Bess’s season is over, as he’s been placed on the reserve/NFI list and will miss the Week 16 and 17 contests against the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yesterday, a photo on Bess’s Instagram account showed him smoking (the substance is not known, and rumor is that it was hand-rolled) with a Rasta flag on his neck and a picture of Bob Marley near him. The picture was quickly deleted, and Cabot was informed by a source that Bess’s placement on the NFI isn’t due to illegal activity.
It’s an interesting situation, and we’ll see if any more details are shared with us by beat writers and insiders. What we do know is that Cabot is also reporting that Bess is dealing with a “serious” family issue in Oakland, and Bess hails from a dangerous part of Oakland with plenty of family still there. We can only hope that whatever happened isn’t too bad and gets resolved in a peaceful manner, because it could be a very scary situation. Cabot reports that this situation “has taken a tremendous toll on” the Browns wideout so far this season, and I wonder if it could partially explain the uncharacteristic struggles with drops, since drops are largely due to a lack of focus.