Win-now season is in full effect in Los Angeles in 2021, as the Rams claimed receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to go along with huge acquisitions in linebacker Von Miller and quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The Rams (7-2) claimed the embattled Browns receiver off waivers on Thursday, adding another receiving weapon for Stafford as the NFC West continues to challenge for the NFC West championship and a berth in the NFC playoffs.
The move added to what was already an effective receiving corps, led by Cooper Cupp (74 receptions, 1,019 yards, 10 touchdowns), Robert Woods (45 receptions, 556 yards, four touchdowns) and Van Jefferson (27 catches, 433 yards, three touchdowns). The move couldn’t have come at a better time either, as Woods reportedly tore his ACL in practice a day after the Rams signed OBJ.
That said, football fans shouldn’t expect immediate fireworks between Beckham and Stafford. The newest acquisition is likely to be limited in his debut for the Rams’ “Monday Night Football” matchup vs. the 49ers.
Below is an explanation as to why receiver may have a quiet debut for the Rams:
Is Odell Beckham Jr. playing tonight?
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported on Sunday that Beckham will get on the field on Monday, but that he spent the first couple of days in Los Angeles getting acclimated to Sean McVay’s offensive playbook. Rapoport added that the Rams’ intention is to get him onto the field for a “handful of plays, maybe a bit.”
Rapoport also added Woods’ injury did not affect Los Angeles’ game plan surrounding Beckham, adding that Jefferson would likely step up to fill the void left by Woods.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reported that the Rams could potentially use Beckham as a punt returner, specifically taking over for Cupp on returns deep in Los Angeles territory. For his career, Beckham has returned 42 punts for 291 yards and zero touchdowns — a 6.9 yard-per-return average.
Beckham was used as a punt returner primarily as a rookie with the Giants, returning 21 punts for 171 yards in 2014. He has only had one season of double-digit punt returns since (10 returns for 66 yards in 2016) and has only one return since joining the Browns in 2019. He was tackled for a loss of 6 yards.