During a roundtable discussion with Cam Newton, Todd Gurley and Victor Cruz, Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. admitted that he considered retiring from football in 2017 after his gruesome ankle injury.
Beckham said that the injury combined with the outside critics created thoughts of walking away from the game.
“I said this in college, I said, ‘I fear the day that they make this game a business and not what I love,’” Beckham said (28:40 mark). “And when I seen that for the first time after breaking my ankle, like I thought about like 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.”
Beckham said the support of young fans in the stands is what fueled him to keep playing.
“When I be on the sideline, and that little kid is, ‘Do the whip, dance,’ like that s–t is what fueled me,” Beckham said. “That’s what fueled me.”
Beckham suffered the injury in a Week 5 game against the Chargers. The Giants were 0-4 at the time. Beckham also talked about how he wasn’t used to all the losing.
“When I first got to the league, that was a major adjustment for me — 6-10, 6-10. I wasn’t ever on no good teams,” Beckham said. “I couldn’t deal with that. So you see the outlash on the field because I’m competitive.”
Beckham had over 1,000 yards in his first season with the Browns, but things didn’t go as planned. The team struggled, he didn’t mesh with quarterback Baker Mayfield, and he dealt with nagging injuries.
Beckham said last month that he’s fully recovered and has “unfinished business” in Cleveland.
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