The Giants and Browns put the finishing touches on week two of the NFL preseason Monday night. The game, like most preseason games, was sloppy, underwhelming, and a punting-fest. Neither team really ever put together a high quality drive, so the excitement factor was not there.
What was present during the game was the major scare the Giants and their fans had during the first half when star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. went up for a pass and Browns’ defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun went straight for his knees as he was in mid-air.
The play resulted in Beckham landing awkwardly on his ankle and suffering an ankle injury that would end his night. The play sparked an immediate debate amongst football fans on social media, debating whether or not the tackle by Calhoun was dirty or legal, or that it was even necessary.
If you do this in a pre-season game, you should be suspended for the ENTIRE REGULAR SEASON. pic.twitter.com/f67pxykqqB
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) August 22, 2017
In today’s football rule book, the tackle was legal. With the emphasis on avoiding a defenseless player’s head and neck area, players today are trained to aim low to avoid a penalty. However, the replay of the tackle clearly shows some intent to injure, or at least let the Giants star receiver now that he just got drilled. Is that type of hit necessary in an utterly meaningless preseason game? The debate amongst football fans will probably never end.
After the hit, Beckham immediately went to the Giants locker room. He looked like he was in a great deal of pain and was limping heavily. He showed a lot of emotion when he exited the playing field, although ESPN’s cameras were right on his every move.
The Giants took him in for x-rays on his ankle and knee as well as put him in a quick concussion protocol, which he passed with no concerns.
After every Giants fan prayed to the football gods that their best player was going to be okay, the team announced that the x-rays came back negative and Beckham suffered an ankle sprain. Disaster was avoided.
After the game, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo called the play “one of those football plays.”
“Eli had to go high, and it was a tough play for the DB,” McAdoo said of Giants quarterback Eli Manning and the Browns’ Boddy-Calhoun.
McAdoo said he would consult with the team’s medical staff to determine Beckham’s status going forward as they prepare for the regular season. “If he can play, he’ll play,” McAdoo said. “If he can play, he’ll play. I can’t answer that question right now.”
Beckham wasn’t the only Giants receiver who left the stadium banged up. Brandon Marshall had to get x-rays on his shoulder as well. Those also came back negative. He said after the game that his shoulder was “sore.” Tavarres King also left the game with an ankle sprain.
Maybe the Giants will re-think playing their starters during next week’s preseason game against the Jets.
The dreaded preseason is now halfway over and there has not been any significant injuries to star players, yet. Maybe the NFL and the NFLPA will consider trimming the preseason to only two games next season, a topic that has been discussed in the past.
Featured Image via Joe Robbins/Getty Images