The Browns don’t have a timetable for Odell Beckham Jr.’s return.
The ACL of a human being can be surgically repaired and ready for full-contact drills in as little as six months. It, however, can take much (much) longer for a person to feel right again. Being cleared and being ready are two different things. The injury affects movement unique to athletes, and because of that, it’s not always easy to determine when someone is fully recovered. An athlete can be participating in full-contact drills but that doesn’t mean they’ve regained all of their movement and range that was lost due to the injury and surgery. That’s important to note when talking about the Browns and the injury to Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham told Cleveland.com’s reporters on Sunday morning, from his football camp at Gilmour Academy that there was no timetable on his return from his ACL injury, with Mary Kay Cabot quoting him as saying;
"At this point, we’re just running our race. I feel like in the past I’ve been caught up in this question. I’m just not really here for it anymore. It’s whenever I’m ready to get on the field, that’s when it will be. Whenever the team, the docs, my team, everything gets cleared, we’ll be ready to go. So whenever that is, week 1, week 17, I don’t know. Whenever we’re ready we’ll be ready.’"
Odell Beckham Jr. remains a major question mark heading into training camp
There’s no point in rushing Beckham out onto the field if he’s not physically ready. Part of what makes the ACL so important is its ability to stabilizing the knee. This of course helps with balance and making dramatic changes in direction. So if Beckham’s knee isn’t ready to go, you could see him be unable to cut or shift weight from his good leg to his bad leg, resulting in him being taken out of the play, being ineffective, or potentially getting injured again.
If he can’t do things like that just yet, or at least not at the speed and confidence he wants to, then you’re doing no one any good by having him out there so soon. It’s best to wait until Week 14 or so if that’s how long it takes, so you can get the best version of Beckham possible.
With Beckham’s history of lower leg injuries, there’s no doubt this ACL injury is affecting him maybe more than others. Patience is key and the Browns seem to be aware of such a mantra. The good news is that the Browns didn’t need him last year, and hopefully, won’t need him this year. Making Beckham a luxury player that the team may be happy to have back, if and when he starts to feel normal.