Rams can’t stop talking about bringing back Odell Beckham Jr.

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Save for a few backpacks stored on the cushioned blue bench seat, the locker sits respectfully unused.

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Nameplate under place for helmet: Odell Beckham Jr.

The Rams have, in some wishful thinking, not reassigned Locker – while Beckham, the superstar receiver and current free agent, remains in the market while working to return from knee surgery.


“It makes you smile and look at it every day,” offensive lineman Rob Havenstein said of the locker directly in front of the locker. “It makes me think of my boy. Miss him. Love him.”

“Hope he’s back.”

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Last November, days before the San Francisco 49ers played at Levi’s Stadium on “Monday Night Football,” the Rams signed Beckham to a one-year incentive-filled contract.

Coach Sean McVay wasted no time getting the three-time Pro Bowl player involved in the offense: In the first game, quarterback Matthew Stafford completed a pass to Beckham.

The Rams lost that game, but Beckham scored five touchdown passes in eight games. During a 23–20 Super Bowl LVI win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Beckham caught a touchdown pass and made a 35-yard welcome before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

The Rams (2-1) return to Levi’s Stadium on Monday night to play the 49ers (1-2).

Beckham, who turns 30 in November, is not expected to be ready to play for either team until late October or November at the earliest. And the Rams will almost certainly be challenged for their services by other suitors, especially playoff contenders.

Prior to a knee injury during Super Bowl LVI, Rams receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) pulled in a touchdown pass despite coverage by Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton.
(Robert / Gauthier)

But the Beckhams never seem to shy away from Ram’s views.

Last week, star cornerback Jalen Ramsey became the latest to drop a not-so-subliminal hint.

Recalling the Rams’ road win over the Arizona Cardinals in 2021, Ramsey initially spoke about the performances of defensive lineman Aaron Donald and former Rams edge rusher Von Miller.

“Odell’s game was great, right,” Ramsey said.

Then he paused for a beat.

“Odell,” he said, “come back.”

Beckham responded with an emoji of faces brimming with tears of joy on Twitter. “Forever my brother!” Beckham wrote. “Tell ’em a lot of ions.”

Ramsey’s comments continued a series of Rams coaches and players that began during the offseason.

In March, general manager Les Snead said the Rams “definitely” want Beckham back and were “trying to make him the Rams as soon as possible.” Coach Sean McVay said on the podcast and broadcast that he wants Beckham — who crashed McVay’s June 4 wedding — to return.

During training camp, McVay told NFL Network that he expected the Rams to “take Odell back at some point.”

“If you’re out of Odell,” McVay said. “I know you’ve heard.”

Later, assessing the young receivers on the roster, McVay told reporters: “So we’ll look at those and then we’ll continue to see if we can figure out when Odell will be back at some point.”

When Stafford was asked about the Rams receivers, he also made noise.

“I’m not closing the book on Odell or anyone,” he said.

In the Rams season opener against the Buffalo Bills at Sophie Stadium, Beckham was on the field to attend a pregame event with a youth football team.

However, he did not publicly reveal where he plans to make a full recovery from knee surgery.

The Rams, who have not done well in three consecutive matches, can use Beckham.

Van Jefferson, the Rams’ most dominant deep threat last season, has been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery during training camp.

Cooper Kupp, the current NFL offensive player of the year, has 28 catches and has scored four touchdowns. New addition Alan Robinson has seven catches, one for a touchdown.

Second-year pro Ben Skoronec caught four passes for a team-best 66 yards against the Cardinals, but has played mainly fullback until recently. Brandon Powell has had five receptions.

Second-year pro Tutu Atwell has no catches and so far McVay has not developed into that threat when the Rams used a 2021 second-round pick to pick him.

Meanwhile, Beckham’s locker serves as a daily reminder of what was and can happen again.

Offensive lineman Bobby Evans’ locker flanks it to the left, cornerback Troy Hill’s right. Players store their backpack there for now.

“He’s a good guy,” Evans said of Beckham. “Just hilarious as a team guy. Obviously, he’s got that extroverted personality.”

Hill played six seasons before signing with the Cleveland Browns – and becoming Beckham’s teammate – last season. He was traded back to the Rams during the NFL draft.

“It’s just to be expected,” Hill said of Beckham’s locker. “He’s a good player – you’d love to have a player like that next to you.”

Or anywhere in the locker room, said security Nick Scott.

“We just put it out of respect,” Scott said of Beckham’s location. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back.”

Source: www.latimes.com

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