Shortly after the Giants’ 38-13 loss to the Packers on Sunday in the opening round of the playoffs, Odell Beckham Jr. spoke calmly with reporters at a news conference about his “learning experiences.” Following that, though, the New York wide receiver reportedly lost control of his emotions, punching a hole in a wall at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, beating his head against a door and cursing at a stadium employee.
Odell Beckham was banging head against locker room door, per Sal Pal. Also believed to have punched this hole in pic.twitter.com/dOpRJyremD
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) January 9, 2017
ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan cited the reporting of a colleague, Sal Paolantonio, in detailing Beckham’s behavior outside of the Giants’ locker room after the season-ending defeat, one in which the Pro Bowler had just four catches for 28 yards. Beckham also committed several drops, one of which cost New York an early touchdown, this after having been criticized during the week for partying through the night in Miami with some teammates on the previous Sunday, and for being photographed Monday on a boat outside that city.
According to ESPN, Lambeau Field grounds crew members saw Beckham hitting the wall, which was between the locker room and the media room where he had just been speaking, then went over to it and noticed the hole. Paolantonio reported that Beckham also banged his head against the outside of his team’s locker room door.
The New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch cited a grounds crew member who claimed that a co-worker, seeing Beckham standing next to the hole, had told the Giant to calm down. “F— off,” the wide receiver is said to have replied before going into his locker room. As of this writing, the Giants had not responded to a request for comment.
The reported scene was reminiscent of one following the Giants’ Week 16 loss to the Eagles. Beckham had a much better game then, catching 11 passes for 150 yards, but he was spotted in the hallway outside his locker room at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, hitting his head against a metal door and having to be calmed down by team co-owner John Mara, among others.
Odell Beckham was growling to himself, losing it outside locker room. Team security & John Mara guided him into locker room eventually pic.twitter.com/ebdB8dH787
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) December 23, 2016
“Odell is an emotional guy. He was disappointed,” quarterback Eli Manning said of the wide receiver’s postgame behavior (via ESPN). “I saw him with his head down and disappointed. There are a lot of guys that will shed a tear or two. When you lose a playoff game — and for a lot of guys it’s their first time in the playoffs — to kind of have the season abruptly end like that is a shock. Everyone handles it differently.”
Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas thought that the emotions of Beckham’s first playoff game might have been “too much” for him. “It happens sometimes to somebody like that who is an emotional spark,” Casillas said (via the New York Post), adding, “I don’t question [Beckham’s] focus. I don’t question his loyalty to the team, either.”
Casillas, though, also noted that Beckham “made some decisions” to take the trip to Miami. “We all knew if he had a bad game, or if we lost the game, or if he dropped a pass, it was going to come back to him,’’ the linebacker said.
During his news conference, Beckham was asked about the Miami trip, and he downplayed any effect it may have had, saying, “It sounds typical to me. But at the end of the day I went through practice, had zero drops, zero missed assignments. There was nothing that could connect seven days ago to today and how we came out and played and executed. There’s just nothing in the world. That’s not realistic.”
“That didn’t have anything to do with the game,” Giants Coach Ben McAdoo said. “It didn’t have anything to do with the ballgame. We talked about it. It’s over.”
“These are the learning experiences, as tough as they are,” Beckham said of Sunday’s loss. “This is what you stand on and you grow from. It sucks. There is no way to put it. It sucks. It is a horrible feeling.”