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There’s no excuse for in-game dehydration

Eagles Giants Football

Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Mills (31) defends against New York Giants’ Odell Beckham (13) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Eagles won 34-13. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


The excuse given for Odell Beckham’s early exit from the playing field before halftime on Thursday night was dehydration. So what’s the excuse for his dehydration?

Answer: There isn’t one. Hydration or lack thereof can, and should, be controlled. Players need to spend the days preceding the game drinking enough fluids. Players need to spend the time during the game taking in even more fluids, if need be.

It’s one of those little things that helps separate a good team from a bad team. Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, for example, has explained that a heated competition existed among his teammates regarding their water consumption, all in the name of ensuring that everyone will be properly hydrated on game day.

After the 34-13 loss to the Eagles, Giants coach Pat Shurmur acknowledged that dehydration has been an issue for Beckham. That only makes it worse; it shows that the team has been aware of the situation, and that the team has been unwilling or unable to solve it.

The real question is whether the problem ultimately arises from Beckham failed to do what he’s told to do. Which underscores the question of whether anyone is able to hold him truly accountable to anything and everything that he needs to do to get the most out of his abilities.

Success is much more than one-handed catches. Plenty of far less glamorous boxes need to be checked along the way, and if Beckham has chronic dehydration issues, it’s fair to ask why he isn’t checking the “drink enough water” box.