Super Bowl LVI: Odell Beckham Jr. ruled out after hurting his knee

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Odell Beckham Jr. turned his career back around with the Los Angeles Rams, right before he was to hit free agency.

Beckham even scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl LVI. He was on his way to a big day with 52 yards before the first half was over.

Then he went down on the SoFi Stadium turf, clutching the same left knee that he hurt turning the 2020 season.

Beckham reached for a short crossing pass from Matthew Stafford that was behind him. He immediately went down and grabbed his left knee in clear pain. Beckham tore the ACL in his left knee during the 2020 season with the Cleveland Browns.

Athletic trainers came out to look at him. He was helped off the field and went to the medical tent. Not long into the third quarter, the Rams announced Beckham was ruled out.

Beckham was a huge story for the 2021 Rams, and a big part of Super Bowl LVI before he went down. Beckham, a star early in his career with the New York Giants, struggled with the Browns and was cut during the season. The Rams were aggressive pursuing him and ultimately signed him.

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That addition was huge when receiver Robert Woods tore his ACL in mid-November. Beckham became a favorite target of Stafford down the stretch and had his first 100-yard game with the Rams in the NFC championship game.

When Beckham went down Sunday, there wasn't just concern about what it would mean for the Rams offense in Super Bowl LVI, but how an injury could impact Beckham's free agency.

Odell Beckham Jr. hurt his knee in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVI. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Odell Beckham Jr. hurt his knee in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVI. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Odell Beckham Jr. scored first TD of Super Bowl

The Rams led 13-10 when Beckham got hurt. Shortly after the injury, Stafford threw an interception into the end zone, finishing that drive.

Before that, Beckham was a big reason the Rams took an early double-digit lead.

After Rams linebacker Ernest Jones tipped Joe Burrow's pass on a fourth-and-1, they had the ball at midfield. Los Angeles moved downfield, and on a third down Stafford threw a nice ball to Beckham for a 17-yard touchdown.

The Bengals got a field goal back, but then Stafford hit passes to Beckham and Darrell Henderson to get the Rams into the red zone. A touchdown to Cooper Kupp put the Rams up 13-3, though the Rams flubbed the snap on the extra point.

The Bengals used some trickery to get their first touchdown. Joe Mixon took a pitch, then pulled up to pass and hit Tee Higgins in the end zone. That 6-yard score cut the Rams' lead to 13-10.

After Beckham's injury and Stafford's interception, the teams traded punts and the game went to halftime with the Rams leading by a field goal.

They had to be pleased with that, but there had to be a lot of adjusting to the offensive plan during intermission after Beckham went down.