Larry Fitzgerald appears on the January 25, 2016 regional cover of Sports Illustrated. In the Cardinals divisional playoff game against the Packers, it was Fitzgerald’s 75-yard catch and run on the first possession of overtime that culminated in a touchdown and brought Arizona one step closer to appearing in Super Bowl 50. (John W. McDonough for SI)
Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. named “Madden NFL 16″ cover athlete
Odell Beckham Jr. was announced Wednesday on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” as the winner of the Madden NFL 16 cover vote, defeating Rob Gronkowski in the finals.
“I’m definitely excited, definitely honored,” Beckham said right after the announcement was made. “To me, it’s kinda mind-blowing.”
Beckham had a stellar rookie campaign for the New York Giants with 91 catches, more than 1,300 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. But it was his video-game inspired catches that dazzled NFL fans last season. He’s the first Giant to ever appear on the Madden cover.
Beckham becomes the third wide receiver featured on the cover of the pro football video game, joining Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald (Madden NFL 10) and Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson (Madden NFL 13).
The winning cover athlete will be boosted to 99 overall after the reveal. But the game has built a reputation for cursing the player that appears on the cover. However, wide receivers seem to have survived unscathed. In 2009, Fitzgerald finished with nearly 1,100 yards receiving, 97 catches and 13 touchdowns. Johnson ended the 2012 season with a whopping 122 catches and more than 1,900 yards.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman graced the cover of Madden NFL 15.
Madden NFL 16 is scheduled to be released on Aug. 25 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.