Odell Beckham Jr. has avoided serious injury after getting hit low by Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo told reporters Tuesday that an MRI revealed Beckham suffered an ankle injury during Monday night’s 10-6 preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns.
“[It] feels like a sprained ankle,” Beckham said after the game, via the team’s official website. “I don’t know. Rolled ankle. Have you ever hurt your ankle? That is kind of what it feels like. I will be all right.”
McAdoo wouldn’t rule out Beckham next week, but it’s likely we’ve seen the last of the superstar receiver until the regular season.
Beckham’s injury occurred as Boddy-Calhoun went low on a high throw, taking the receiver’s legs out from under him. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the hit was perfectly legal.
Few questioned the legality of the hit, but some on social media insisted it was a dirty play. For his part, Beckham didn’t stoke the flames.
“I don’t know, it’s just football I guess, preseason,” he said, shaking his head, according to the Associated Press. “I’m not really the judge. It’s just football in my opinion.”
McAdoo concurred with Beckham’s assessment.
“It’s football. You can’t hit a guy high, you can’t hit a guy low, you can’t hit him in the middle,” McAdoo said. “It’s one of those balls that Eli [Manning] had to drive it and he left his feet. That is a tough play for a DB.”
No one wants their star players taking hits like that, especially in a preseason game, which is why most sit out the majority of the games. For a player like Boddy-Calhoun, who was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars last season before landing in Cleveland and is playing for a roster spot, the fact that it’s the preseason doesn’t come into the play. He’s fighting for his job.
“Honestly, I really didn’t see it,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said of the hit after the game. “I don’t think any of our players try to do things maliciously. I didn’t get that feeling. I know some guys who are thinking that maybe it wasn’t a legitimate or a good hit, but again, we have to watch the tape and see. Sometimes guys get put into [tough] positions, and it is tackle [football]. I thought Briean was just trying to tackle a player and got him on the ground.”
Not everyone believes Boddy-Calhoun should be cleared of all wrongdoing. Giants safety Landon Collins criticized the Browns DB for going low.
“I cannot have a teammate next to me playing that way,” Collins said, per the New York Daily News. “I cannot condone it. It’s not something I seek. He had all the opportunity in the world to make a different play.”
Added Collins: “The play wasn’t a penalty, but it’s something everyone knows … you don’t do. He had about 30 seconds to make a play on the ball in the air. He could’ve made a play on the ball, could’ve hit him high, but he chose a different route. I can’t respect him.”
Regardless your feelings on the hit, we can all agree it’s good news that the outcome didn’t have a worse result.