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Panthers coach Ron Rivera compares Odell Beckham Jr. to Jerry Rice

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. has heard no shortage of praise for his on-field accomplishments during his two seasons with the New York Giants. But praise doesn't get any higher than what Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera offered Wednesday.

"Well, Julio Jones is right up there," Rivera said when asked whether Beckham is the best wide receiver his unbeaten Panthers will have faced this year. "But watching what [Beckham has] done in his first two seasons is tremendous. He really has an opportunity, I think, to be one of those guys you'll talk about him and Jerry Rice."

Rivera played linebacker for the Chicago Bears and was a contemporary of Rice, who's considered the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. He's aware of the gravity of the comparison.

"I had the great fortune of watching Jerry Rice, and man, I see a lot of flashes," Rivera said. "I played against Jerry as well, and I see a lot of flashes in Odell's game. I just think he's a tremendous football player."

Beckham's Giants host Rivera's Panthers in a 1 p.m. ET game Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Carolina cornerback Josh Norman is likely to shadow Beckham, and he has done a good job all year limiting opposing No. 1 wide receivers, including Jones last week.

"Odell is a tremendous football player. I think Josh is a tremendous football player. And I think it's going to be a marquee matchup. I really do," Rivera said. "I think both guys are going to bring a lot to the table, so we'll see how it goes. This is one of those matchups you hope to see, and I think it's going to be a good one."