Why OBJ Should Not Return Punts

Posted by Alexis Celluro | Featured Columnist

It’s no secret that Odell Beckham Jr. has served as a major offensive weapon for the New York Giants this season-and others around the league have certainly taken notice.

How could you not? It’s virtually impossible to ignore a rookie who has collected 79 receptions for over 1,000 yards, and broken team and league records alike. If that weren’t all impressive enough, he’s done so in only 11 games, after missing the first part of the season due to a pesky hamstring injury.

After losing star receiver Victor Cruz in Week 6, protecting the rest of their offensive assets should’ve been the team’s priority. However, Beckham Jr. has seen the field on special teams, as well.

While he was an effective punt returner in college, and was originally drafted in part due to this skill set, it has become clear that his role on this team cannot continue to include this aspect in 2015.

It’s far too risky to have him on the field more often than is necessary. The more chances for him to be hit, the more susceptible he is to injuries- it’s a fairly simple concept. It also gives opposing teams more chances to target him.

If this weekend’s game against the Rams showed us anything, it’s that other teams have recognized him as a threat, and will try to take him out whenever possible. It’s a sad reality that he, as well as the Giants coaching staff, will have to face.

It may not be a bad idea to keep him on as depth at the punt returner position to be used in crucial situations (not that I would suggest taking cues from the Eagles often, but there is something to be said about how they used DeSean Jackson for many years).

Looking at the cost and rewards in this is most important. By using him only in necessary special teams situations, the team can potentially maximize his impact, for the least amount of risk.

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