But Callaway's scratch allowed his replacement in the lineup, Rashard Higgins, to come through with the game-winning touchdown grab, which lifted Cleveland to a 19-16 victory over Buffalo on Sunday.
Callaway, who was suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, was seen warming up with the other Cleveland receivers pregame. But after he was declared inactive, Callaway changed clothes and was spotted being escorted to watch the game from elsewhere in FirstEnergy Stadium.
"He was going to be part of the game plan," quarterback Baker Mayfield admitted afterward. "But things happen."
Mayfield targeted Higgins only once the entire game. That proved to be the touchdown catch with 1:48 remaining.