Odell Beckham Jr.’s broken ankle in 2017 had him so down, he nearly quit. The then-Giants receiver was so upset about the injury and what he was dealing with at the time, he thought about retiring.
“I said this in college, I said, ‘I fear the day that they make this game a business and not what I love,’” the former Giants receiver said during a roundtable talk with Cam Newton, Todd Gurley and Victor Cruz. “And when I seen that for the first time after breaking my ankle, like I thought about not playing no more, like this is not really it for me because they’ve ruined the game of football for me a little bit.”
At the time, Beckham was hearing a lot of criticism for the first time about his antics. It didn’t sit well with him. Beckham, since traded to Cleveland, put a brave face on it from the outside, but inside it got to him.
“I struggled to deal with that,” he said. “Depression, mental health issues, being in New York, not really liking it.”
The fans are where he drew inspiration from.
“When I be on the sideline and that little kid is, ‘Do the whip, dance,’ like that s–t is what fueled me,” he said. “That’s what fueled me.”
Beckham, 27, reached three straight Pro Bowls at the start of his career, but that injury has seen him fall off. It limited him to just four games, the Giants traded him after the following season and he fell short of expectation in his first year with the Browns, catching 74 passes for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns as they went 6-10. He did play through injuries, appearing in all 16 games, and had surgery to repair hip and groin injuries in January.