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Odell Beckham Jr. did little in Los Angeles Rams debut after release by Cleveland Browns – Akron Beacon Journal

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) jogs on the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

It took exactly one play for the Los Angeles Rams to get Odell Beckham Jr. involved in their offense.

Playing on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” against the San Francisco 49ers, the former Browns receiver was thrown the ball on the first play of the game. 

The play, a five-yard comeback route, went for five yards from quarterback Matthew Stafford. Beckham was ridden out of bounds by 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.

That highlight was quickly forgotten. A few plays later, Stafford targeted Beckham on a deep pass that was intercepted by 49ers safety Jimmie Ward.

ESPN broadcaster Brian Griese theorized during a replay that Beckham stopped on his route.

Suffice to say, some online had fun at Beckham’s expense immediately afterward.

“They did a nice job peeling with the back, covered Cooper [Kupp] with some depth from the nickel,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford told reporters after the game. “Probably should’ve just run that ball maybe out to the right – I don’t know if I’d get anything – or throw it away. Just too aggressive throwing it down the field. Shouldn’t have done it.”

Beckham had one other target in the first half, a 13-yard reception.

Beckham played minimally in the second half and finished the game with two receptions for 18 yards. The Rams lost 31-10.

“I was excited. I felt like I was ready for the moment,” Beckham told reporters after the game. “I felt like I’ve been through so much and God has put me in this position for that exact moment, and it just wasn’t our night. There’s really no way around it. It just wasn’t our night. All three phases of the game – they ran the ball well, they stopped us while we were on offense and they just beat us.”

Beckham had fewer yards for the Browns only twice in 29 games. The first was on Oct. 25, 2019 when he had no catches and tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against the Cincinnati Bengals. The other time was in his final game with the Browns when he had just six yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8.

Bye week could help Odell Beckham, Matthew Stafford gel

In Beckham’s defense, there was little chance to practice with his new team after having his first practice on Saturday. Fortunately for Beckham the Rams (7-3), a bye is next on the schedule. 

“I had a … hiatus myself, just with everything that was going on,” Beckham told reporters after the game. “Emotionally it was a lot. So now I get to get back in the lab, get to work, get through the playbook and then you lick your wounds and you get ready for one of the best teams in the NFL in Green Bay at Lambeau.”

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Stafford said that he and Beckham would work together during the bye week.

“I thought he did a great job of coming in and executing kind of the tightened down game plan we had for him,” Stafford said. “I imagine that role to continue to expand with more and more that he can handle.”

The Browns released Beckham earlier this month after a drama-filled divorce became public. Beckham’s father, Odell Beckham Sr., shared a video on Instagram highlighting plays where Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield missed opportunities to connect with the receiver. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James even weighed in on Twitter writing, “OBJ will show again why he’s special. WR1 #FreeOBJ.”

ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters spoke to Beckham leading up to the game. Beckham told her he enjoyed his time in Cleveland

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“He told me he didn’t really want to talk about what happened in Cleveland and what led to his release there, but he did say every detail of it was crazy to him,” Salters said. “He said, ‘I don’t have words for it, it stinks, it was never intended,’ and he said he never could’ve envisioned any of it.”

Beckham wasn’t the only NFL superstar to make his Rams debut on Monday night. Edge rusher Von Miler also played his first game for Los Angeles after being acquired from the Denver Broncos before the NFL’s trade deadline.

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