Odell Beckham Jr. was sidelined last year due to suffering an ACL tear in his left knee during Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season. While Odell serves as a vital piece of the receiving core for the Browns and the team is patiently awaiting his return, his career outlook is also something to take note of as OBJ moves into the later stages of his craft.
Let’s start off from ground zero though: what is an ACL and why do you always hear about it getting torn? The ACL or anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament of the knee that prevents anterior translation of the tibia on the OBJ is certainly no stranger
to these types of setbacks in his playing career though: he has had a hamstring strain, high ankle sprain and fracture, a bruised quadricep muscle, and more recently a sports hernia that led him to have surgery. He’s played 7 seasons and is going into his 8th, so it is fair to question just where he might be physically moving forward. He’s had his share of ebbs and flows in performance as well, more recently during his stint with the Browns. That being said, he is showing great progress in his ACL rehab and was even seen doing sport-specific drills only a month out from surgery.
Now, return-to-play from ACL surgery normally happens anywhere from 6 to 12 months after surgery date with recent research suggesting that the higher end of that, which would be 9-12 months, is the safest bet for optimal outcomes. With OBJ’s surgery taking place on November 10th and the 2021 season starting early September, that would make 10 months before he has to return. He has plenty of time to rebound and his commitment level seems to be high, at least outside looking in.
I believe the performance level OBJ will be at upon return should be back to the levels of output during his Giants’ days. Retear of the ACL is always a potential issue as about 1 in 5 players go on to tear the same or opposite knee later. On the bright side, he threw himself into rehab almost immediately after his injury/surgery and has been consistent throughout, so he should be ready to go by Week 1 with no performance limitations. Due to his injury history and length of playing time, I will give him an injury risk score of 3 for the 2021 season.