For the first time in his successful yet short career, Odell Beckham Jr. won’t be the only outside threat that opposing defenses need to worry about. Victor Cruz after various setbacks in his rehab process and rookie Sterling Shepard comes in after a stellar season at Oklahoma and has already received comparisons to Beckham himself. Beckham is as excited as anyone when it comes to Shepard’s potential and what he’s shown in camp, saying that
“He’s going to be a big-time player,” while stating that he “wants to keep him [Shepard] on the down-low for right now so that way he just jumps out the first couple of games…”
When it comes to Cruz and his minor groin injury, Beckham doesn’t seem concerned in any way that he’ll be unable to go on September 11th for the season opener against Dallas, barring any further injuries during the preseason. When asked whether or not he has to pump Cruz up after this week’s minor setback.
“I don’t think he needs to be pumped up,” while also adding that he’s just “excited for him [Cruz] to be able to get out there and play.”
With multiple weapons to account for in Shepard and Cruz, it only makes sense that things should open up more for Beckham and lead to more big plays from his end. Even if teams decide to put two defenders on Beckham, they’ll be taking a big risk with leaving both Shepard and Cruz in single coverage, and Beckham likes their odds.
“I would love to get two people on me, that’s fine,” he said after Thursday’s brutally hot practice. “Just throw it to someone else. Just keep the chains moving and try and put up as many points as we can.” If Beckham, Cruz, and Shepard can all meet their collective potentials, the last job anyone will want is to be on the chain gang for their games.