Getting back on an NFL field for the first time in 16 months, Beckham caught a pass from Lamar Jackson and playfully did pushups after slipping on a route in a limited workout. He participated in a handful of team drills at Ravens mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, which marked his anticipated return from injuring his left knee in Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.
“It feels good to be able to get out of bed and not feel pain,” Beckham said. “It feels good to feel like if I need to take off running right now, I can take off running. It has been a long journey this time around.”
Beckham, 30, sat out the entire 2022 season with the knee injury before signing a one-year, $15 million deal with Baltimore in April, which was the largest contract by a free-agent wide receiver this offseason. He skipped all of the voluntary offseason workouts before reporting to mandatory minicamp this week.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Beckham is “full go” in terms of health but the team would monitor his reps during the three-day minicamp.
“He’s worked really hard to get himself back to this point,” Harbaugh said. “I’m sure he’s a little anxious anticipating getting back on the field for the first time. We’re not going to crazy out here, but I think it’s a good first step for him.”
Beckham didn’t deliver one of his signature one-handed grabs, but he participated in all of the position drills and had no issues running or cutting. During team drills, Jackson’s first pass to Beckham was nearly picked off by cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Beckham later made a sliding catch on slant route.
Before practice, Beckham declined to give a percentage on where he is physically, explaining that it feels like it’s “a setup.”
Asked on where his speed is now compared to his workouts for teams three months ago, Beckham replied: “I’m definitely fast.”
Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowl receiver, is one of the most high-profile free-agent signings in Ravens history, and he certainly garnered plenty of attention in his first practice with the team. After talking to the media for 15 minutes, he received a big hug from Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. Later, during practice, Beckham received a handshake from general manager Eric DeCosta.
But Beckham knows his biggest connection has to be with Jackson. He plans to train with Jackson in South Florida during the five-week break after minicamp and before the start of training camp.
“Chemistry is going to develop over time. It’s not something that I’m worried about,” Beckham said. “The most important thing is getting ready for a season coming up in September, and that’s when we play.”