Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. missed two days of practice before Sunday’s game against the Steelers because he did the right thing.
Meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Beckham explained that he decided acknowledge that he was feeling ill in order to ensure that her wouldn’t spread COVID-19 through the team facility in the event he had it.
“I was just more in my mind for me and my maturity level I felt like it was the right thing to do to mention I may not have been feeling well,” Beckham said. “I just wouldn’t want it to spread throughout the whole building if there was a case that I would have possibly had it. I was just trying to be an adult and be precautious about the situation and try and handle it the right way.”
That should be the headline from his latest media session, because the COVID-19 protocols rely too much on the honor system. To his credit, Beckham ultimately did the honorable thing.
Unfortunately, the main takeaway for many will be Beckham’s comments — likely made in jest — about his attitude toward the virus.
“Not in an arrogant way, I just don’t think COVID can get to me,” Beckham said. “I don’t think it’s gonna enter this body. I don’t want no parts of it, it don’t want no parts of me. I think it’s a mutual respect.”
He obviously doesn’t believe that, or he wouldn’t have acknowledged “that I would have possibly had it.” While some would say the pandemic shouldn’t be discussed flippantly, few made that complaint when Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew claimed that the virus “took one look at me, ran the other way.”
As to Beckham’s two-day mandatory absence from the team, he opted for pragmatism.
“The shit sucks, but that’s just what we have set up for this year,” Beckham said. “That’s what they seem to have voted on and did all these phone calls and everything to come up with whatever the game plan is gonna be. Like Coach [Stefanski] said, just embrace the suck. It is what it is. Just part of the 2020 season.”
Again, Beckham did the right thing went he possibly could have bluffed his way through the symptoms and not missed practice. Here’s hoping other players who don’t feel well will do the same thing. Chances are plenty will keep to themselves the fact that they aren’t feeling right, however.