For the first time since Super Bowl LVI, Odell Beckham Jr. will play a game when the Ravens take on the Texans this Sunday.
"It’s like over 450 days and counting," Beckham said in his Wednesday press conference. "I don’t know the exact days, but it’s been a long time. It’s been a long time in my mind; it’s been a long time in reality."
Coming off a second ACL tear that left him sidelined for the entire 2022 season, Beckham is now expected to play a key role in Baltimore's revamped offense. But the receiver recognizes that there's going to be an emotional element of getting back to play.
"I've just been trying to pretend like it’s not here for the whole training camp and just go about it and be grateful to be back out there, but I'm excited," Beckham said. "I don’t know what emotions will be running through me. I know I'll be excited to play football again. I’m just ready to get there. I’m trying to take it a day at a time and ease my way into it.”
Beckham acknowledged he may have to work to keep his emotions in check.
"I don’t know if there is a manual for it — just one day at a time," Beckham said. "Like Coach [John Harbaugh] always talks about, one meeting at [a] time, one practice, one play at a time. [I’m] just trying to keep that mindset, and that will keep me never too high, never too low.
"But I can tell you this, I'm excited. I’m excited to be back on the field. It’s truly a blessing. God really gave me another opportunity to play, the Ravens game another opportunity to play, and I don’t take it for granted.”
Beckham later added he almost feels like it's his first career game all over again.
"The whole thing feels like a reset for me," Beckham said. "There have been a lot of déjà vu moments of little things that have happened that just kind of feel reminiscent of my rookie year in a sense — just the feeling of the excitement that I have to play football and just a new opportunity, a new life. So, I don’t know what to expect, but I'm excited.”