Odell Beckham Jr. gave Giants fans a scare on Sunday when he left New York’s win over the Cleveland Browns with a thumb injury. Despite initially being listed as questionable to return, Beckham made his way back into the game on the following possession. He finished with six catches for 96 yards and 2 TDs.
When asked about the injury on Wednesday, Beckham told reporters that he fully expects to play this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In fact, the Giants wide receiver apparently believes that the injury will make him even better.
"I think in a sense it doesn’t really hurt me because now I have to focus more on catching the ball," Beckham said. "I have to really lock in the focus of where you’re placing your hands. I’ve kind of noticed it actually almost make me be able to catch better, minus the pain of what it is. It allows me to lock into another focus."
… really? It takes some sort of obstacle for Beckham to give it his all on the field? Really?
I mean, I get it. I genuinely do. I understand that the man is a virtuoso wide receiver. As far as catching footballs at the professional level, Beckham is Mozart and Beethoven combined into one extraordinary genius; when you’re that good at what you do, you don’t always have to be 100 percent focused at the task at hand.
And in this day and age, no one is locked in all the time. Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers and J.R. Smith, who stepped off the court to hug an opponent in the middle of an NBA game on Tuesday night.
Still, there are only 16 games in an NFL regular season. The difference between making the playoffs or spending the winter at home often boils down to just one game here or there. And when you’re as talented as Beckham is, the difference between "elite" and "the absolute greatest" is how focused you want to be.
It’s all well and good that Beckham won’t be deterred by his injury, but these comments will add fuel to the fire for any critics who question his dedication to the game.