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NFL insider suggests Odell Beckham Jr. return will be delayed even further

Odell Beckham Jr
Sam Greene/Cincinnati Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Odell Beckham Jr is generating massive interest from Super Bowl contenders, who are all vying for the free-agent wideout as a final piece to put them over the top. While the field of teams pursuing Beckham Jr. is narrowing, it seems his timeline for a return keeps getting pushed back.

Months after Beckham Jr. first suffered the torn ACL in the Super Bowl, early expectations suggested he could return in late October or early November. The veteran receiver didn’t want to sign with a team until he was fully healthy, resulting in this saga that has now made him one of the most sought-after free agents in the middle of the NFL season in several years.

However, the timeline for when Beckham Jr. would receive clearance to play kept being pushed back. Reports later surfaced that the former All-Pro selection could return right around Thanksgiving. Weeks later, it was made clear that the 30-year-old wouldn’t even take visits with teams until early December.

  • Odell Beckham Jr stats (Los Angeles Rams): 27 receptions, 305 receiving yards, five touchdowns in seven games

Now, amid a frenzy of rumors and speculation regarding where he will sign, there is another development suggesting the 5-foot-11 offensive weapon is still weeks away from playing football.

Related: Odell Beckham Jr. battle down to 5 teams

Ian Rapoport disclosed on The Insiders that there is a realistic possibility Beckham Jr. doesn’t play until the final weeks in December, with a return at the end of next month within the realm of possibility.

“The date keeps moving and that’s what is kinda interesting. I was told, originally, mid-November. Then I was told early December, there were other reports that it would be right around now. He’s not even visiting the Cowboys until Dec. 5…When will he realistically play? We’re probably talking mid-December, maybe even late December.”

Ian Rapoport on when Odell Beckham Jr. will return

The estimated return date isn’t entirely tied to injury recovery. Beckham Jr. would also need to get acclimated with the offense, learning the fundamental elements of the playbook and developing some early chemistry with the quarterback. Far more importantly, though, he would need to prove across multiple practices that he was ready to play in games.

Related: Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott make pitch to Odell Beckham Jr

If Beckham Jr. isn’t returning until late December, it might further diminish the possibility of him re-signing with the New York Giants. At that point, only teams legitimately viewed as Super Bowl contenders might be willing to be patient.

Considering he is now coming off his second ACL tear, there is also a reason for concern about how effective he will be upon his return. At a time when the best NFL teams are desperate for a boost, though, the demand for Beckham Jr’s services is justifiable.