Will Odell Beckham Jr. be the next victim of the Madden NFL cover athlete curse?

Odell Beckham Jr., a young wide receiver for the New York Giants, has just been voted in as cover athlete for Madden NFL 16, beating out more experienced players Patrick Peterson (cornerback, Cardinals), Rob Gronkowski (tight end, Patriots) and Antonio Brown (wide receiver, Steelers). The trailer above, also just released, features all of the contending athletes and a first look at the game in action. Given the long history of cover athletes falling to the so-called “Madden Curse,” does this mean that Beckham’s fledgling career is already doomed?

“Odell Beckham Jr. is a true playmaker and a perfect fit for this year’s game,” said Randy Chase from EA Sports in the announcement post. “He’s an unstoppable force out on the field, and the Madden NFL 16 cover is further vindication that the fans believe he’s a player to watch in the coming years.”

What the post fails to mention is the notorious Madden Curse that has befallen nearly every cover athlete of the venerable football series since 1999. Of the 19 players to be featured on the cover of Madden NFL prior to this year, 18 have had troubled seasons following their stint on the cover (cataloged here), many being taken out of the game by injury shortly thereafter. The curse started in 1999 with 49ers running back Garrison Hearst, who broke his ankle soon after being featured on the cover. Most recently, Seahawks corner-back Richard Sherman  tore a ligament in his elbow during the NFC Championship game.

Beckham, picked out of LSU in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, has had an explosive rookie season. In just twelve games he ran over 1,300 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. He does not seem to be worried about the curse cutting his promising career short, however, citing his faith as a shield.

What do you think? Is faith in God and a youthful belief in invincibility enough to protect Beckham, or are the cosmic forces conspiring against him simply too great?

Madden NFL 16 is now available for pre-order, and is set to launch on August 25, 2015 for PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

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