Odell Beckham Jr., undeniably one of the most talented players in the NFL, is 27 years old. He says he played all last season with a sports hernia injury and still put up 1,035 yards.
Still, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of optimism that Beckham will put up a monster 2020 season for the Cleveland Browns. But one big part of the puzzle is in place: He is healthy.
Beckham had sports hernia surgery in the offseason and is back to 100 percent, his new coach said on Thursday.
Odell Beckham Jr. is feeling good
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski gave Beckham a clean bill of health, with about a month to go before training camps start.
Stefanski on OBJ, off the surgery: “Free and clear. He’s 100 percent and looking really good."— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 25, 2020
Beckham’s injuries in 2019 were no joke, and likely a big reason he didn’t have a huge season.
Beckham said after the season that the sports hernia came up in training camp. By the end of the season, he said he had a torn abductor and torn rectus abdominis. He still played all 16 games, though he barely reached 1,000 yards and had just four touchdowns. That’s fine for a lot of players but well below Beckham’s normal output.
The Browns expected big things out of Beckham after a huge trade last offseason. While Beckham has only played all 16 games twice in his six-year career and his durability will always be a concern, at least he gets to start fresh in 2020.
Beckham has had three quiet seasons
Beckham made the Pro Bowl his first three seasons with the New York Giants. The next three seasons haven’t been as good, with 2,389 yards and 13 touchdowns in 32 games.
Still, he has massive talent. There are more questions about Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield than a year ago, but he has a ton of a ability too. There still is plenty of time for Beckham to be exactly what the Browns thought they were getting in that trade with the Giants.
It’s hard to believe Beckham is beyond his prime at age 27. He has had injuries, but nothing that should sap his athletic ability in a significant way, especially considering he’s healthy after surgery this offseason. Yet it’s also been a while since we’ve seen peak Beckham. There are reasons for that but there are also fair questions about what his level of play will be going forward.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Beckham is among the top few receivers in the NFL this season. It also wouldn’t be a surprise if there’s more injuries and another relatively quiet season. Which Beckham we get this season will go a long way in determining if the Browns can be playoff contenders.
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