JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jalen Ramsey’s matchup against Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the biggest storylines of the first week of the NFL season, but Ramsey said Thursday that people are making a much bigger deal of that than they should.
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“A lot of people are going to try and make it about me and him specifically. That’s not what it is about,” said the Jacksonville Jaguars’ third-year cornerback, who was added to the injury report on Thursday because of a sore right ankle. “Football is a team game. Eleven guys out there for us, 11 guys out there for them. We going to have to come together and do what we gotta do to try and get a win. I’m going to try and do my part.
“… It’s 11 versus 11. It’s not me vs. him all game. I’ll be on him a fair amount; I’m sure other guys will be on him too.”
Ramsey had little else to say during Thursday’s six-and-a-half-minute news conference. He was complimentary of Beckham, calling the New York Giants receiver a premier player, and he was nowhere near as boastful as he was in an ESPN story by Mina Kimes or the piece in GQ magazine in which he was critical of numerous NFL quarterbacks, including saying Beckham is the reason for Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s success.
That’s regular-season Ramsey, though. He’s somewhat low-key before games but has much more to say after, especially if he has success against a receiver. He was critical of Steve Smith Sr. after the Jaguars’ game against Baltimore in 2016 and ripped into Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green after the two were ejected at the end of the first half of a game last year.
Ramsey’s quiet demeanor on Thursday afternoon was an anticlimactic end to an eventful month. In addition to the GQ and ESPN pieces that were released in August, Ramsey also was suspended for a week for a profane tirade against local media and threatening one of those reporters on Twitter.
Despite his effort — and those of teammate Telvin Smith and defensive coordinator Todd Wash — to downplay Sunday’s matchup, how Ramsey fares against Beckham will be significant in determining the outcome of the game. That matchup got a bit more intriguing when the Jaguars announced that Ramsey was going to appear on the injury report because of the ankle soreness.
The team said Ramsey did not suffer an injury on Wednesday or Thursday but was added to the report because he took limited snaps in practice. He is still expected to play against the Giants and Beckham.
“Looking forward to it,” Ramsey said. “Looking forward to the beginning of the season with the whole team.”