When the Los Angeles Rams acquired star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. late in the 2021 season, they looked even more stacked than they already were, and it reinforced the reputation that they were going all-in.
After coming off a torn ACL the previous season, little by little it was looking like he was regaining his physical attributes and overall production, especially during the playoffs.
Alas, Beckham again tore his ACL during L.A.’s Super Bowl win, after making two receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Now, as he throws himself once again into the drawn-out rehab process that such an injury calls for, some are wondering if the Rams will even need his services in order to repeat as world champs.
The Rams Already Have Plenty In Their Arsenal, But Is It Enough?
Some would say that if not for Beckham, perhaps the Rams wouldn’t have even reached the Super Bowl to begin with. After all, he played a key role in their tight wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers.
Both games were decided by just three points, making it a valid argument.
However, the Rams are still a loaded team, even without the former New York Giants star.
Fellow wideout Cooper Kupp had a breakout season for the ages, putting up 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season, which is twice the yardage and more than five times as many touchdowns as he had the previous year.
In addition, Van Jefferson is a young and emerging No. 2 wideout who put up 802 yards and six touchdowns in ’21. The addition of wideout Allen Robinson also gives L.A. yet another offensive option and allows the team to spread the wealth around.
On the other hand, Beckham became a strong red-zone target for Sean McVay’s squad, getting six of his seven touchdowns (regular season and playoffs combined) in such situations.
If he doesn’t return on a new contract, the Rams could be forced to be overdependent on Kupp when they’re near the end zone, which could make them easier to defend.
In addition, the NFC West is tough. Even with Russell Wilson leaving the division, the Niners and Arizona Cardinals will be tough to deal with, and outside the division, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will be back for their respective teams.
As a result, the Rams won’t want to lose any key pieces for next season.
In the end, Beckham is a piece they’ll definitely want to have, but he’ll have to be able to produce like he did this past season.
Will He Ever Be The Same?
When he was a mainstay for the Giants, Beckham was known for his blazing speed, a trait that sent him to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons.
Unfortunately, ACL tears tend to rob athletes of a good deal of their speed and quickness, and it’s fair to ask whether Beckham may be a shadow of his old self when he returns, especially since he suffered such an injury twice.
If that’s indeed what happens, he could still be an asset, but would he perhaps become more of a situational wideout instead of one who plays every down and is looked to quite often?
The Rams Want Him Back
Whether they need him or not, the Rams have been reported to want to retain Beckham, and the interest is mutual.
"I really love him, I cherish our relationship that we were able to establish and develop, and I'm hopeful that there will be many more years working together."@RamsNFL head coach Sean McVay tells @AdamSchein he wants Odell Beckham Jr. back in a Rams uniform. pic.twitter.com/QkzgSNbhnC
— Mad Dog Sports Radio (@MadDogRadio) March 4, 2022
Beckham reportedly had successful surgery on his injured knee, and he is on track to return around the middle of the 2022 campaign.