Patrick Daugherty

The Morning After

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Odell Beckham's Injury

Monday, October 9, 2017


In four years as an NFL comet, Odell Beckham has opened himself up to questioning on many fronts. His toughness has never been one of them. Gutting through a left ankle issue, Beckham piled up 16 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns in Weeks 3 and 4. Along the way, he picked up a right index finger injury, an ailment that, according to Sunday’s CBS broadcast booth, left him “in a ton of pain” and “really concerned.” Naturally, after an early tape job, he played through it, snagging five more passes for 97 yards and his third touchdown in as many weeks.


Then, it happened. With time winding down in a game the Giants were putting on ice, Beckham skied for catch No. 6. Instead, he came down with a season-ending injury, getting his troublesome ankle rolled underneath Casey Hayward, a(n excellent) cornerback whom Beckham earlier roasted for a 48-yard touchdown. Sensing trouble, panicked Chargers players immediately signaled for the Giants’ training staff. A distraught Beckham could only writhe. As many of his teammates fought back tears, Beckham himself cried, knowing that his age-25 season had come to an end. A broken ankle was later confirmed.


It’s hard to say whom the loss is most devastating for, Beckham, the Giants or the NFL. For Beckham, it delays his assault on the history books and complicates what had been a straightforward contract case (paid, big). For the Giants, it throws their roster situation into sharp relief. This is an elderly team whose window is slamming shut. Eli Manning isn’t going to pull another Lazarus out of his hat without his All-Pro No. 1 wideout. For the NFL, it robs a league in transition — Peyton Manning is gone, Tom Brady is soon to follow, and Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers aren’t getting any younger — of one of its brightest young stars.


The immediate situation is dire for the Giants. Beckham wasn’t their only receiver to get hurt Sunday. Absurdly, there was also Brandon Marshall (ankle), Sterling Shepard (ankle) and Dwayne Harris (foot). That leaves Roger Lewis as their only healthy wideout. This is not a joke. Harris has already been declared out for the season, while Marshall and Shepard are certain to miss Week 6. This, as the G-Men must head to Denver to take on the Broncos’ elite defense in primetime. It’s possible, if not probable, Victor Cruz has been given a call. He alone would not be enough reinforcement. The Giants need to sign a bare minimum of two wideouts.


For Beckham, the prognosis is brutal, but not necessarily a career-alterer. He has youth and world-class athleticism on his side. As of this moment, there’s every reason to believe he will be ready for next season. For the Giants, about the only thing that’s clear for 2018 is that they need Beckham to be a part of it.   


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Five Week 5 Storylines


Ben Roethlisberger’s descent into Bortlesville. For the first time ever, Roethlisberger tossed five interceptions. Two of them were housed for touchdowns, helping the Jaguars to a 30-9 victory in a game where their quarterback threw for 95 yards. Ben, as you could imagine, was simply awful, and afterward wondered aloud if he still has what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. The answer is that there’s still a canyon between Roethlisberger and Landry Jones, but that he needs to get over whatever has been ailing him. His 300-yard effort against the Jags — solely the product of garbage time — was his first since last Week 10. Now 35, Roethlisberger has suffered injuries to every conceivable body part. He’s probably slowing down. Five interceptions or not, it’s still hard to believe it’s for good.      


DeVante Parker (ankle) leaves the stadium on crutches. Parker went down in the first quarter of the dumpster-fire Dolphins’ narrow win over the Matt Cassel-”led” Titans. Encouragingly, Parker was spotted running sprints on the sideline, but he couldn’t get the go-ahead to check back in. Perhaps he couldn’t cut, or perhaps the Dolphins didn’t want to further risk Parker’s health in a game they surmised they could win without him. Whatever it was, it’s still another injury for the third-year pro, who has pretty much never stopped racking up ailments as an NFLer. Most of them have been minor, but it’s hard to be a true No. 1 when you’re always slowed by something. If Parker can get cleared, he has an approachable Week 6 matchup in the Falcons.   


Aaron Jones’ big day in place of Ty Montgomery. Buried on the depth chart for the season’s first three weeks, Jones flashed in Montgomery and Jamaal Williams’ Week 4 absence. Sunday, he buried Williams, and put heat on TyMont, who was averaging just 3.30 yards per carry before injuring his ribs. Jones’ 125 rushing yards against the Cowboys were more than double Montgomery’s season high on the ground. Jones earned his yards, slashing through holes and doing major damage after first contact. He’s not going to banish Montgomery to the bench, but he’s certainly busted Montgomery’s three-down monopoly. It’s even possible Jones initiates a hostile takeover on early downs, returning TyMont to his more natural role of pass-catching specialist. These are just guesses, but Jones needs to be 100 percent owned.      


DeShone Kizer’s overdue benching. Kizer’s second trip to the sideline in as many weeks is probably permanent. Kizer committed two more turnovers in the first half, giving him NFL-worst marks in interceptions (nine) and giveaways (11). In his place, Kevin Hogan went nuts, completing 16-of-19 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Hogan was taking advantage of a good matchup, but that’s something Kizer has yet to do. Hogan has now produced as many touchdown passes as Kizer (three) in 121 fewer attempts. For Week 6, Hogan gets the Texans’ injury-depleted defense.    


Charles Clay’s knee injury. Battling knee issues for literally years, Clay was barely touched on the play that knocked him out. A cart was quickly summoned and Clay’s day was through. Tyrod Taylor’s only legitimate weapon through five weeks, Clay’s loss for any amount of time would be brutal for the Bills. It’s quite possible he’s done for the season. Nick O’Leary and converted-quarterback Logan Thomas are the next men up at tight end.     


Don't forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB or @RotoPat on Twitter.



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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty



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