Odell Beckham Jr. scores first touchdown with Ravens on his 31st birthday: ‘I’m truly blessed’

Happy birthday, Odell Beckham Jr.

On the day the star wide receiver turned 31 years old, he scored his first touchdown with the Ravens in the fourth quarter of a 37-3 blowout win Sunday over the Seattle Seahawks at M&T Bank Stadium.

It’s a significant milestone for a player who considered retiring from the NFL after suffering a torn ACL in the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl LVI victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in February 2022. Coincidentally, that was the time Beckham scored a touchdown, as he sat out the entire 2022 season.

“It feels good to finally get that one off you,” he said.

Sunday’s big catch — coming on a 6-yard pass to the corner of the end zone from backup quarterback Tyler Huntley as Lamar Jackson cheered from the sideline with the outcome already decided — couldn’t have come at a better time.

Earlier in the week, Beckham said he’s “obviously not where I want to be” in terms of production after being held without a catch for just the second time in his nine-year career in last Sunday’s 31-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The three-time Pro Bowl selection entered Sunday with just 14 catches for 162 yards after signing a one-year, $15 million deal, but he caught five passes for 56 yards against Seattle and celebrated each one emphatically.

Beckham has been telling himself “today’s the day” each game this season, hoping to will a touchdown catch into existence. It appeared as if Sunday would be another touchdown-less, up-and-down afternoon for Beckham, who led the wide receiving corps in yards but also lost a fumble in the second quarter. But his wish finally became a reality — one 630 days in the making.

“I’m truly blessed,” Beckham said.

Added coach John Harbaugh: “To see him come back — that’s what you expect out of a player like that, a veteran player who has done it before. Odell ran a great route [on] a double move back out to the corner. Yes, it was good to see.”

Jackson wasn’t the one to throw the touchdown pass to Beckham, but he was the one earlier in the week who predicted the star would soon find the end zone.

“He’s going to get on the scoreboard,” Jackson said Wednesday. “I believe it’s happening fast. It’s going to come.”

After the score, Baltimore’s sideline erupted, and no player was more excited than Jackson, who met Beckham with a handshake after the score.

“I was definitely fired up and my brother [Huntley] threw the touchdown and it was great,” Jackson said. “He made a great pass and [Beckham] made a great catch. I don’t know what the celebration was, I was just pumped because he got his touchdown.”

“It was just a great moment,” Beckham said of his quarterback’s enthusiasm. “He knows we’ve all put in hard work. It’s been a long journey for me since February 22nd of 2022 all the way until now. It’s been a very long, long journey. Tough days, dark days, hard days. Just to see him smiling and excited, he’s been saying for weeks: ‘When it rains, it pours.’ He was like ‘it’s gonna happen.’”

The touchdown was the 58th of Beckham’s career, but a different score Sunday was the highlight of the game in his mind.

“My favorite play of the game was when I seen Keaton [Mitchell] bounce it and get loose and seeing how fast he is and watch him score,” Beckham said.

After Mitchell’s 40-yard scamper for the first touchdown of his NFL career, Beckham made sure to pick up the ball while the undrafted rookie celebrated with a dance.

“I seen him dancing and everything, but that’s a special ball,” said Beckham, an expert on dancing to celebrate touchdowns. “I just wanted to make sure he had that.”

Beckham said Thursday that he didn’t expect to put up massive numbers when he signed with Baltimore this offseason. He maintained during the session with the media that his main focus is on winning a Super Bowl and that he believed better days were ahead.

With the Ravens looking more and more like Super Bowl favorites, Beckham’s patience might be paying off.

“There’s so much that I want to do for this team, this organization, and also the city of Baltimore,” Beckham said. “They’ve embraced me and that’s all want to do is to put on for ‘em and make ‘em proud.”


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