INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr.'s first Super Bowl appearance was a short one.
The Los Angeles Rams wide receiver suffered an injury to his left knee during the second quarter of a 23-20 win against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
It is the same knee Beckham injured midway through the 2020 season in Cleveland, which caused him to miss the rest of the season.
Beckham suffered the injury on a noncontact play with 3:50 remaining in the half. The mercurial wide receiver, who was signed by the Rams after being released by Cleveland at midseason, was running toward the right side of the field on a crossing route, but it appeared as though his foot got caught in the turf. He dropped a pass thrown by Matthew Stafford and clutched his leg as he fell to the turf.
Beckham was looked at by trainers on the field before being helped off. He was looked at briefly in the medical tent on the Rams’ sideline before heading to the locker room.
Beckham had two receptions for 52 yards. He scored Los Angeles’ first touchdown when he beat Mike Hilton in the right corner of the end zone for a 17-yard score to put the Rams on top 7-0 in the first quarter.
Stafford admitted that it took awhile in the second half before the offense was able to get back on track. Los Angeles was without four of its top six pass catchers for the final 30 minutes.
“They played a bunch of man coverage, they were doubling Coop (Cooper Kupp) on every third down and, you know, we just missed on a few plays here and there that could’ve been big plays for us,” Stafford said.
Beckham caught 27 passes for 305 yards and five touchdowns in eight regular-season games with the Rams, providing a much-needed fill-in after Robert Woods was injured in practice a day after Beckham’s arrival.
Woods said that his first thought after Beckham's injury was “Can I get a helmet?”
He was better in the Rams' run to their second Super Bowl in four years, with 19 receptions for 236 yards and a TD in three victories.
Beckham will be a free agent after Sunday's game. His girlfriend, singer/fitness trainer Lauren Wood, is expected to have the couple's first child any day now.
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