New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning told SI Now that he is "not concerned" about a Madden video game cover curse on teammate Odell Beckham Jr.
“I think Odell will break that and have a great year,” Manning said. “He's got a lot of talent. He's been dealing with a little hamstring issue over the spring but I think the Giants and everyone is being cautious. They want to make sure that gets healed up so he can be there for training camp, get back to playing football and have a big year for the Giants.”
The Madden curse dates back to 1999, when Garrison Hearst of the San Francisco 49ers became the first player to be featured on the video game cover. Previously it was an image of renowned coach and commentator John Madden. In the 1999 NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, Hearst suffered an ankle injury that would shelve him until the 2001 season. The 49ers also lost the game.
Daunte Culpepper (2002), Marshall Faulk (2003), Michael Vick (2004), Ray Lewis (2005), Donovan McNabb (2006), Shaun Alexander (2007), Vince Young (2008), Brett Favre (2009), Troy Polamalu (2010), Drew Brees (2011), Peyton Hillis (2012) and Adrian Peterson (2014) have all suffered injuries in the season following their cover appearances.
Beckham Jr. is coming off a phenomenal rookie season in which he caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and twelve touchdowns in just 12 games. The 22-year-old beat out Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski as the cover star for 2016.
- Christopher Chavez