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Odell Beckham Jr. Is Working Through Early Adversity With 'No Excuses'

WR Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.

As Odell Beckham Jr. has been adjusting to England, struggling to fall asleep with a five-hour time difference, he's had a lot of time to think about his slower-than-hoped-for start as a Baltimore Raven.

After signing a one-year, $15 million contract this offseason, Beckham has just seven catches for 79 yards and no touchdowns through the first five weeks.

Much of the reason is because of injuries, which have limited Beckham to just one full game and kept him out of two entirely, but his production even when he's been on the field hasn't been what the superstar anticipated.

"I was doing such a great job early on and hadn't been thrown many tests leading into training camp, and I feel like I semi-failed the test God gave me," Beckham said. "Realizing that is a step of growth. To now embrace this new challenge and find a way to be productive with whatever opportunities I do have, that's just the bottom line. Make the most of what you get.

"There's no time for excuses or putting blame here or there. I'm a man. I take my wins and my losses. I've just got to come out and be better, plain and simple, and do whatever I can to help this team win."

Head Coach John Harbaugh said he and Beckham talk a lot, and that he knows the veteran receiver is eager to make his first big splash with his new team.

"He just wants to do more. He wants to be involved," Harbaugh said. "I just think he has to be patient. It's a long season. He's going to be healthy and he practices hard and well. I know he's going to be there for us."

Beckham's only full game was the season-opener against the Texans, in which he caught two passes for 37 yards. Then Beckham suffered an ankle injury in Cincinnati, which sidelined him for the next two games. Beckham returned last week in Pittsburgh but exited the game for a chunk for unknown reasons. He indicated Thursday that maybe he came back a little too soon.

"It's been tough," Beckham said. "I worked my ass off for a long time since that Super Bowl [injury]. Just to have a small, small setback that you never saw coming, it's just unfortunate. … It never feels good when you're not at your very, very best. I feel much better this week."

Now Beckham seems to be working on improving his mental health.

"It starts with my energy day to day," Beckham said. "There's a lot of things that I feel like I can do better. I have to accept that challenge, embrace it, and be exactly who I know I am."

Beckham might be the Ravens' biggest international star in London this week. Junior soccer players at the Ravens' Tottenham practice facility were dying for photos with him. But when it comes to Sunday's game abroad, nobody on the Ravens may be itching for a big game more than Beckham.

The last time he had such a performance was in Super Bowl LIV, but it was cut short by his career-altering second major knee injury. Now Beckham is hoping the large international stage will be his launching point.

"There's something about pressure and the biggest stage that drives me even more," Beckham said, relaying something his former head coach for the Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay, told him.

"How can I get back on track? How can I be the person that I know I'm capable of being? I would absolutely love that to start this Sunday."

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