Could infamous OBJ-Norman feud flare up in 49ers-Rams?


There have been some fiery moments between Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. in the past, but could that once bitter feud resurface when the two line up against each other during the 49ers' game against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night at Levi's Stadium?

Don't count on it.

Let's go back to the origins of the beef between the 49ers cornerback and the newly-acquired Rams wideout. After Norman and a Carolina Panthers practice squad player intimidated Beckham during warmups before a 2015 game between the New York Giants and Carolina, the two combined for five personal fouls over the course of the game, seeming to go after each other on every other play.

Norman referred to Beckham as a "little kid" in his postgame media availability after the final personal foul saw OBJ come sprinting from a significant distance and try to catch Norman with a blind helmet-to-helmet shot.

The two traded barbs on Twitter and in subsequent magazine and book interviews, and Norman signing with Washington in 2016 set the two up for two guaranteed division matchups a season.

However, the two clearly seemed to want to move on from all the tension and media coverage around their supposed hatred for one another. Ahead of their first NFC East clash, Norman downplayed the beef with Beckham.

"He's a really good player," Norman said (H/T Associated Press). "No hate whatsoever, man. The guy can play ball. I think the competitor in me likes that. Just challenged to get up for that."


Although Norman did get a couple personal fouls against Beckham in their second matchup in 2016, there were no further theatrics or war of words between them.

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The two faced off against each other once in 2018, but Monday would be their first game on opposite sidelines since then.

Norman caught up with Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd on Friday ahead of the Week 10 game between the Rams and 49ers, and didn't have much to say about Beckham specifically joining LA.

There are several reasons why no kerfuffle between these two should be expected at Levi's Stadium on Monday.

For one thing, the initial incident between these two happened six years ago. Norman, now 33, and Beckham, 29, both are veterans who have played for multiple different teams since that brawl at MetLife Stadium.

They also aren't likely to matchup against each other on very many plays Monday night. Beckham Jr. has been with the Rams for less than a week, and reportedly will have a set number of designated plays where he will see action. Norman and Emmanuel Moseley likely will be focused on covering Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson in the passing game.

Also, after Norman's controversial personal foul and spat with the Arizona Cardinals last week, he almost certainly will be looking to avoid any negative plays.

The 49ers' banged-up secondary will have its hands full with Kupp, OBJ and Jefferson, especially with Matthew Stafford playing as well as he has been.

They might line up across from each other, but there won't be any fighting between Norman and Beckham in primetime.

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