Odell Beckham Jr.’s 2017 season was, for all intents and purposes, over on Aug. 21.
That’s the night the New York Giants’ wide receiver sprained his ankle in a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. Beckham caught an 18-pass yard from Eli Manning before he was undercut by Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. Boddy-Calhoun drove his shoulder and helmet in Beckham’s left leg, a play that angered many players around the NFL.
The Giants said Beckham had an ankle sprain. He missed the final two games of the preseason and the regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. Beckham made his 2017 regular season debut in the Week 2 home opener against the Detroit Lions with four catches for 36 yards in the 24-10 loss.
In the Week 3 road game against the rival Philadelphia Eagles, Beckham seemed to return to form. He had nine receptions for 79 yards and two fourth quarter touchdowns in the 27-24 loss. Beckham also made headlines when he got down on his hands and knees, pretended to be a dog, lifted up his leg, and pretended to urinate in the end zone at Lincoln Financial Field.
Two weeks later, in a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Beckham leapt to catch a Manning pass in the fourth quarter. He landed awkwardly on the same ankle he injured in the preseason. Beckham was visibly emotional after the injury as players from both sides got down on bended knee to pray for him. He was diagnosed with a broken left ankle.
Beckham’s 2017 season ended in the same game that saw wide receivers Dwayne Harris and Brandon Marshall also suffer season ending injuries. He finished with 25 receptions for 302 yards and three touchdowns.
Beckham spent the remainder of the regular season rehabbing at the Giants’ facility. His progress was ahead of schedule as he shed his walking boot last month. Beckham then moved to a more strenuous phase of his rehab: running under water.
Beckham is now in Los Angeles, where he spends the offseason. He is now working out with his trainer, Jamal Liggin, with no effects of the injury. Beckham showed the progress he’s made on social media.
— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) January 16, 2018
Beckham, who some contend rushed back from his preseason injury, has no reason to rush his rehab now. The 2018 regular season is more than seven months away.
The Giants exercised Beckham’s fifth-year option, which will pay him more than $8 million in 2018. Beckham said he wants to be the NFL’s highest paid player during last offseason. Co-owner John Mara has said he wants Beckham to remain a Giant. General manager Dave Gettleman quoted former general manager Ernie Accorsi, saying “you don’t quit on talent” when asked about Beckham when he took over for Jerry Reese.
Beckham was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three NFL seasons and is a two-time Second-team All-Pro. He became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 250 career receptions (38 games) and 4,000 career receiving yards (42 games, tied with Hall of Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth). Beckham was ranked eighth by his fellow NFL players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.