Odell Beckham Jr. makes the Ravens debut at minicamp

Odell Beckham Jr. makes the Ravens debut at minicamp

Jamison HensleyESPN staff writerJune 13, 2023 at 05:57 PM ET3 minutes to read

OBJ is happy and healthy during camp

Odell Beckham Jr talks about how his body feels coming out of his anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Owings Mills, Maryland – It wasn’t The most practiced Odell Beckham Jr. memorable, but certainly meaningful for the new Baltimore Ravens wide receiver.

Returning to the NFL stadium for the first time in 16 months, Beckham caught a pass from Lamar Jackson and did push-ups after sliding down a road in a limited-time practice. He participated in a few group workouts at the Ravens’ mandatory mini camp Tuesday, which marks his expected return from injuring his left knee at Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.

“It feels good to be able to get out of bed and not be in pain,” Beckham said. “It’s good to feel like if I need to run right now, I can take off running. It’s been a long ride this time.”

Beckham, 30, sat out the entire 2022 season with a knee injury before signing a one-year, $15 million deal with Baltimore in April, which was the largest contract by a free agent at large this offseason. He skipped all of the informal voluntary exercises before reporting to the mandatory mini-camp this week.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Beckham is “fully functional” in terms of health, but the team will be watching its representatives during the three-day mini-camp.

“He worked very hard to bring himself back to this point,” Harbaugh said. “I’m sure he’s a little nervous about anticipating his return to the field for the first time. We’re not going to get crazy here, but I think it’s a good first step for him.”

Beckham didn’t pass up a single one-handed hold, but he participated in all of the stance drills and had no running or cutting issues. During team practices, cornerback Roc O Sinn nearly caught Jackson’s first pass to Beckham. Beckham later catches a slide on a slanting road.

Prior to rehearsal, Beckham refused to give a percentage of where he is physically, explaining that it feels as if it is a “set-up”.

When asked about his speed now compared to his training for teams three months ago, Beckham replied: “I’m definitely fast.”

A three-time Pro Bowl receiver, Beckham is one of the most notable free agent signings in Ravens history, and he certainly got a lot of attention in his first practice with the team. After speaking to the media for 15 minutes, he received a big hug from Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. Later, during training, Beckham received a handshake from general manager Eric D’Costa.

But Beckham knows his biggest relationship has to be with Jackson. He plans to train with Jackson in South Florida during the five-week break after minicamp and before bootcamp begins.

“The chemistry will evolve over time. That’s not something that worries me,” Beckham said. “The most important thing is to prepare for the next season in September, and that’s when we play.”

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