Odell Beckham Jr. will be 28 years old this season in (November) 2020. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Beckham attended high school in New Orleans. He was a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and ran track. Beckham was quite the swiss-army knife on the football field, playing QB, RB, WR, & CB.
As a junior, he caught 45 passes for 743 yards and 10 touchdowns, adding 3 more scores on the ground. As a senior, Beckham caught 50 passes for 1,010 yards and 19 touchdowns. Additionally, he ran for 331 yards and 6 touchdowns and averaged 30 yards per punt return.
Beckham excelled in sprinting and jumping events, just like his mother. Beckham also played soccer, growing up he idolized David Beckham. Considered a four-star recruit and the #6 wide receiver in the nation entering college, Beckham chose to attend Louisiana State University (LSU).
OBJ started nine games as a true freshman catching 41 passes for 475 yards and 2 touchdowns. In 2012 Beckham started in 12 games and finished with 43 receptions for 713 yards and 2 touchdowns, continuing to return punts and kickoffs. As a junior, he combined with Jarvis Landry to form one of the best wide receiver duos in college football.
He had a monster season, catching 59 passes for 1,152 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also led the SEC with 32 kickoff returns. Beckham’s athletic prowess helped him earn the 2013 Paul Hornung Award, given to the most versatile player in college football.
At the NFL Combine, Beckham measured 5’ 11 ¼” and 198 pounds, and he ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash. The New York Giants chose him as the 12th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the third wide receiver taken. Unfortunately, his rookie season did not start ideally, as he struggled all training camp, preseason and the first 4 games of the regular season with a hamstring injury.
The rest of the season went off beautifully as he caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns (in only 12 games), putting an exclamation point on what many sportswriters hailed as one of the greatest rookie seasons ever. The season concluded with him winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
Beckham continued to excel in his second year, avoiding the notorious ‘sophomore slump,’ instead catching 96 passes for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns. With each season, Beckham continued to get better. He started the 2016 season with a new coach, Ben McAdoo, and played in all 16 games catching 101 passes, 1,367 yards, and 10 touchdowns.
Beckham struggled with some anger issues throughout this season, as he was fined multiple times and even ended up punching a hole in the visiting locker room’s wall after a game.
Beckham’s 2017 season did not go according to plan. He suffered a left high-ankle sprain in the second preseason game, causing him to miss the first game of the regular season. Then just four short weeks later, in week five, he suffered a significant left ankle fracture, which required season-ending surgery.
Trying to erase the 2017 season, Beckham came back in 2018 with a bang, signing a five-year $95 million contract extension with the Giants, with $65 million in guarantees. He returned to his dominating ways, catching 77 passes for 1,052 yards and 6 touchdowns, but only playing in 12 games due to injury.
In a surprising off-season move, Beckham was traded from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns in March 2019. He managed to play in all 16 games in 2019 for the first time in four years but disappointed many who thought he was going to take his game to the next level in Cleveland.
He caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards and 4 touchdowns. The poor performance could be because Beckham reportedly played the entire season with a sports hernia.
Beckham has suffered his fair share of injuries over the past 8 years dating back to his time at LSU. In 2012 he suffered a hip strain, but this did not cause him to miss much time. Then in preseason of 2014, he suffered a significant hamstring strain, which caused him to miss four games. Hamstring injuries have plagued Beckham several more times, including multiple times in 2015.
His left high-ankle sprain in the preseason was likely a predisposing factor in his left leg/ankle fracture. The damage to the ligaments in a high-ankle sprain is to the ligaments that hold the lower to bone leg bones together. Inherently these are weaker as someone returns from this injury, often taking up to one year to completely heal.
Unfortunately less than three months later, Beckham fractured his ankle, likely the fibula bone which makes up the outside of the ankle. I (Dr. Morse) suspect that if he did not sustain this high-ankle sprain in the preseason, there is a good chance he would not have suffered the fracture later in the season. Beckham required surgery for this fracture and missed the rest of the season.
In late 2018 Beckham ended up missing the final four games of the season after suffering a quadriceps bruise. These traditionally happen after a player takes an elbow, knee or helmet directly to the quadriceps muscle. There are four muscles, hence the term ‘quad,’ and unfortunately, because they have such a good blood supply, they can bleed deep into the tissue. If this bleeding doesn’t stop quickly, then the body develops a large cavity of blood called a hematoma.
These can be very painful and uncomfortable. Often these need to be aspirated with a needle, and the fluid needs to be removed. Unfortunately, if the blood has dried, it turns to like a jelly-like consistency, and surgery is often required to evacuate the hematoma. These are usually not a long-term issue once the hematoma is gone.
It is unclear exactly when Beckham sustained the sports hernia injury in 2019, but reports seem to be around Week 8. Abdominal, inguinal and sports hernias often can get confused with one another. Several players suffer these. You may remember that DeSean Jackson also suffered the same injury in 2019 and missed the majority of the year.
I (Dr. Morse) will give Beckham a pass for the latter half of the 2019 season secondary to the fact that he was dealing with this injury. Players with this injury struggle to feel like they can’t get loose, and battle with rotation and extension of the body. These are all critical maneuvers for wide receivers, thereby making this injury very difficult to play through for a wide receiver. Unfortunately, rehabilitation alone is not enough, and the majority of athletes end up having surgery, which is painful in its own right.
The 2019 season was not a banner year for Odell Beckham. He came over to Cleveland in what was supposed to be the difference-maker to push the Browns offense and team into the playoffs. Cleveland didn’t make the playoffs, and Beckham didn’t make much of a difference.
Instead, he caught 74 receptions (28th in the NFL), 1,035 yards (26th in the NFL), 4 touchdowns (t-59th in the NFL), and 14 yards per reception (32nd in the NFL). Beckham had one top-10 fantasy week all-season.
The numbers aren’t bad for regular players, but Beckham should be in the elite category (like his time with the Giants). Now, we are three seasons removed from those top-tier numbers. He will be given a pass due to his injury in 2017 and playing in just four games.
When looking at 2018 and 2019 numbers: 151 receptions, 2,087 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Compare that to his 2015 and 2016 seasons, where Beckham caught 197 balls for 2,817 yards and 23 touchdowns. The drop-off being 46 catches, 730 yards, and 13 touchdowns. Where did the 2015-2016 Beckham go?
His weekly numbers continue to be in disarray, but Cleveland’s offense was not humming along either. Freddie Kitchens' play calling was a mess, and it hindered the offense. Both OBJ and Landry were on record as wanting to move away from the offense. The scheme will change now under the hands of Kevin Stefanski.
All hope isn't lost, he still managed to gain 200+ fantasy points for the 5th time in the past 6 seasons. However, Beckham barely entered the bi-centennial category with 201.3 fantasy points on the season. The lowest of his career. He was able to manage 1,000 receiving yards for the third time in three seasons, but his touchdowns declined in this period as well.
Beckham has an ADP of WR10 and the 30th overall player off draft boards in late-June. It will be challenging to achieve this status as the offense is a bit more crowded. Cleveland added Austin Hooper in the off-season and kept Kareem Hunt. Wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones was also added in the draft. He may surprise as a sixth-round draft selection.
The floor of Beckham won’t bottom out. He is exceptionally talented and runs superior routes. A deep-threat that will make exciting plays happen when he has the ball with home-run capability. The speed and catch rate won’t let him fall past a WR24 range.
His ceiling is dependent on many factors. How much volume Beckham gets is one component. He isn’t productive in the red-zone, as he was 28th in targets in 2019. It was a significant drop-off from previous seasons. With the addition of Hooper, it could hurt him even more. Or if defenses start keying in on Hooper, it may open OBJ up.
Sports Injury Predictor calculates that Beckham has a 52.6% chance of injury in 2020. They estimate that he is going to miss over three games this upcoming season. Unfortunately, given the nature of his different injuries throughout the years, this is not unreasonable. Beckham has missed games in 4 of his six NFL seasons.
He has missed 21 of a possible 96 games throughout his NFL career, about 22%. The good news is that he was able to play through this core muscle injury in 2019, and now it is surgically repaired.
My risk score for Beckham in 2020 is 6 out of 10, due to his inability to stay healthy over long periods and difficulty with playing through some smaller nagging injuries.
OBJ is just not a WR1 at this point. The Browns have too many weapons that are proven receivers. Landry, Hooper, Nick Chubb, and Hunt. A Stefanski offense likes to focus on the run as well. Check out the 2018-2019 Minnesota Vikings. Start shopping for Beckham after the first 14 wideouts are off the board.
Injury Risk: Moderate. 6/10.
|Projected Missed||Probability of injury per game ?||Probablity of injury in the season ?|
|Oct 27, 2019||Inguinal Groin Sports Hernia||Beckham has been on the injury report every week of the season. Since Week 8, he was listed with a groin injury. He underwent surgery on in offseason to repair a core muscle injury.|
|Nov 25, 2018||Leg Quad Bruise||Beckham suffered a quad bruise in Week 12 against the Eagles. He played through it the following week but then missed the final 4 games. He reported it was a hematoma.|
|Oct 8, 2017||Pedal Ankle Fracture||Beckham fractured his left ankle. He required surgery and missed the rest of the season.|
|Aug 21, 2017||Pedal Ankle (high) Sprain Grade 3||Beckham suffered a high left ankle sprain in the 2nd preseason game. He missed the last 2 exhibition contests and the regular season opener.|
|Nov 27, 2016||Hand Thumb Sprain||OBJ jammed his thumb against the Browns but played through the injury.|
|Oct 16, 2016||Inguinal Hip Strain||Beckham hurt his left hip against the Ravens but returned to that contest and played the following week.|
|Oct 11, 2015||Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||OBJ strained his hamstring but was not forced to miss any games because of it.|
|Jun 1, 2015||Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Beckham pulled his left hamstring in OTAs. He participated in camp and the preseason while managing the issue.|
|Nov 23, 2014||Back Vertebral Bruise||Beckham left briefly after taking a shot to the back but returned to the game and missed no further time.|
|Aug 18, 2014||Thigh Hamstring Tear Grade 3||Beckham suffered an initial hamstring injury sometime in spring workouts and then faced multiple setbacks during training camp. He missed the preseason and 1st 4 regular-season games, revealing later that he sustained 2 tears in the area.|
|Nov 29, 2012||Inguinal Hip Strain||Beckham sustained a hip flexor injury and left in the first half of LSU’s final regular-season game. He made it back for the bowl game.|