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The NFL season is only one month old, but Odell Beckham Jr. is struggling.
He’s yet to catch a touchdown pass, is averaging fewer catches and yards per catch than he did during his first two seasons as a pro, and is becoming a locker room distraction due to his increasingly frequent spats with cornerbacks and refs.
On Tuesday, he spoke with ESPN’s Anita Marks and told her that he wasn’t enjoying football.
“Football is my sanctuary,” Beckham told Marks. “It’s where I go to escape. It’s where I’m most happy. I’m not having fun anymore.”
On Monday night, Beckham caught just three passes for a career-low 23 yards, and was nearly ejected after making contact with an official.
Beckham also told Marks that he is upset with his team’s offensive strategy because he isn’t more involved.
“What I’m communicating, we’re not doing,” he added. “I’m not getting the opportunities to contribute, and that’s frustrating to me.”
Beckham’s frustration is certainly understandable, but the Giants coaches and front office will not be particularly pleased to hear their star receiver publicly criticizing their team’s approach. Especially when head coach Ben McAdoo has already called his on-field antics a distraction, and GM Jerry Reese reportedly had to speak with him for 10 minutes at his locker following the loss to the Vikings.
And, as Eli Manning said on Monday night, the more frustrated Beckham remains, the more he’s going to be provoked by his opponents.
“People are looking for him,” Manning said. “He’s got to play smart, and he can’t afford to do anything there. They’re going to call him. He’s brought that on himself, and he’s got to realize that.”
The Giants have dropped two straight games, and at 2-2 are suddenly in last place in the NFC East. A win against the Packers on Sunday would undoubtedly resolve some of these frustrations Beckham is voicing.