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Ravens WR Odell Beckham Jr. on best performance since 2019: 'It's been a long time coming'

Is Odell Beckham Jr. officially back?

OBJ authored his best game since 2019 on Thursday night in Baltimore's 34-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, generating 116 yards on four catches, the most receiving yards in a game for Beckham since Week 2, 2019 (161 yards with Cleveland). It's just the second time since Week 6, 2019, that Beckham has surpassed the 100-yard mark in a contest -- the other was a nine-catch, 113-yard performance in 2021 with the Los Angeles Rams during their NFC Championship Game win over the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's been a long time coming," Beckham said of his performance via the Baltimore Sun. "Been a lot of hard work.

"Early on in the season, I was hurting. I couldn't be myself. I didn't have the explosion. I couldn't move the way that I wanted to, and I don't think people really knew what I was dealing with."

Beckham, who missed all last season with a knee injury, received medical attention on his shoulder following his final catch and run but said after the game that he was fine.

Thursday night, his 116 yards led the Ravens; the next closest player was Zay Flowers with 43. OBJ's night could have been even bigger, as he burned defensive backs two other times but couldn't connect with Lamar Jackson.

The 100-yard explosion from Beckham came after back-to-back weeks in which he scored a touchdown, including a vintage 40-yard take-a-slant-to-the-house last week against Cleveland. OBJ's recent play suggests he's fully integrated into the offense and ready to make noise.

"Yes, I believe so," Jackson said when asked if his connection with Beckham finally clicked. "As we keep going, keep practicing, keep getting better each and every week, and him to keep doing what he's doing, I feel like our chemistry's going to be skyrocketing."

The Ravens will need Beckham more than ever, with star tight end Mark Andrews suffering a likely season-ending ankle injury Thursday night. In past years, Baltimore would have been sunk sans Andrews, but this year's iteration is better positioned to withstand the loss. That starts with Beckham and Flowers seeing more targets on key downs.

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