DENVER -- The NFL told Cleveland Browns wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry to change their cleats at halftime of Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos or they wouldn't be allowed to play the second half.
According to the NFL rulebook, "a player may wear shoes that are black, white or any constitutional team color, or any combination of black, white and a constitutional team color."
Beckham's white cleats included blue and red colors in a face, resembling the character from the recent movie "Joker." Landry's shoes were gold, with a lighter shade of orange closer to Denver's jersey color than Cleveland's.
Both players came out of halftime wearing cleats conforming to the rules.
Landry said after the game he was confused by the NFL's instructions, saying the original cleats had already been cleared by the league.
"I don't really understand," he said. "When we went up to the Nike headquarters to start game-planning for throughout the season, and our uniforms and things like that, these things get cleared by the league before Nike can start processing the shoe. So Nike processed the shoe and thinking, I guess, they got the green light from the NFL, so I didn't see it as being a problem or a distraction to anybody. I'm just trying to play football."
Beckham, meanwhile, said the team's reversal this week to wear brown-colored uniforms instead of whites despite being on the road led to the cleat issue for him.
"Obviously, you guys know I have a deal with Nike. ... the offseason, before the season even starts in June and July, we sit down, we met about the cleats, all right this is it. Bam. This is the jersey you're going to wear, cool," Beckham said. "They literally switched the jersey. The cleats that I had was not for that jersey, we were supposed to wear white. The cleats were white." Beckham said the cleats he played the second half in were hurting his feet, which is why he began the game in the "Joker" cleats.
"I just had to go with what was the most comfortable to play in," he said.
Beckham has expressed frustration this season that the league has been singling him out, especially when it comes to his uniform. He was fined $14,000 last month for wearing pants that did not cover his knees and was also confronted by the league for wearing a $190,000 watch while playing in Cleveland's season opener. In Week 2, Beckham was forced to the sideline because of the tint in his visor.
"You just got to know the situation, know who you are, where you are and know that they're going to tell us to take them off, regardless," he said. "Even though I've seen people in cleats that are a totally different color then their team and they could wear them all game, on a prime-time game, and for some reason when it comes to me it's just not the case."