With his 143-yard performance against the Falcons on Monday Night Football, Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. became the fastest receiver in NFL history to 5,000 career yards, reaching that mark in just 54 games. In the 23-20 loss to Atlanta, Beckham had his best yards-per-catch average (17.9) of the season, as well as his longest reception, a 51-yarder in the third quarter that led to a New York field goal. While controversy has surrounded Beckham all season, the only hint of drama on Monday night came when he left the sideline in the fourth quarter to visit the men’s room, prompting ESPN’s Booger McFarland to deem Beckham a “diva wide receiver” for not relieving himself on the sideline as many players do. (Thanks for that, Booger.)
For those just tuning in, here’s a brief timeline of this year’s Odell saga:
Week 4, Saints at Giants: Beckham heads to the locker room early before halftime, looking visibly frustrated. The CBS broadcast crew stops the speculation and confirms Beckham went into the locker room to get an IV because he was cramping.
Week 5, Giants at Panthers: Beckham’s controversial interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson (alongside silent supporter Lil Wayne) airs on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown before kickoff. In it, he wonders asks rhetorically whether Eli Manning “can still throw it” and says, apparently tongue in cheek, that it’s “cool catching shallow [routes] and trying to take it to the house.” He also professes his love for L.A., when asked whether he’s happy in New York, and says, “I don’t feel like I’m being given the opportunity to be the very best that I can, to bring that every single day.”
Post-Giants loss to Panthers 33-31: Coach Pat Shurmur says he addressed Beckham’s comments with him and frustratedly tells reporters he is done discussing any more Beckham drama. “That's all I’m saying on it. Finito, done.” Beckham meets with the team to discuss his comments, but after the game says he doesn’t regret anything he said.
Thursday Night Football, Eagles at Giants, Week 6: The Giants fine Beckham an undisclosed amount for his ESPN comments. Beckham leaves the Eagles game for the locker room before halftime begins, with the Giants trailing 24-6. He returns late for the second half and tells reporters after the game that he left to get an IV. Shurmur says after the 34-13 loss that the receiver was “dehydrated again. Some guys’ bodies dehydrate quicker than others, so we just have to keep looking for ways to make sure he stays hydrated.”
Oct. 13: On his Facebook Watch video series, Beckham reiterates that he’s not going to apologize for his comments in the ESPN interview. “Bro, I’m sorry that I’m not gonna apologize from my heart,” Beckham said. “I don’t feel like you deserve an apology for one, and I don’t feel like it’s necessary for me to apologize for how I feel.”
Oct. 16: At the league meetings, Giants owner John Mara speaks to reporters about Beckham. He tells NFL Network’s Judy Battista, “I wish he would create the headlines by his play on the field as opposed to what he says and what he does off the field. I think he needs to do a little more playing and a little less talking.”
Oct. 19, Week 7: When reporters ask Beckham about his pattern of needing IVs after the first half of games this season, he tells reporters, “I really don’t like water.” He says this before practice while holding a bottle of water in his hand. “I’m trying,” he continued. “I really just don’t like it. You get that stomach feeling—it’s all slushy. I’m trying to stay hydrated. Sometimes I got to get an IV. It’s just necessary. If you’re cramping in both calves, it’s hard to run and make cuts.”
Monday’s loss dropped the Giants to a league-worst 1-6. Hydration seems to be the least of the team’s problems.
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