Star WR Odell Beckham Jr’s status remains in question
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The question of the day at New York Giants practice Saturday remained: Will Odell Beckham, Jr. play Monday night against the Detroit Lions?
The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver is hobbled by a high ankle sprain suffered in the second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. He missed last Sunday’s 19-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys and was questionable on the team’s injury report Saturday. His participation in the light practice session was once again limited, like it was all week.
Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the situation before Saturday’s workout, but did not shed any light whether the star pass catcher would be able to play.
”We’ll see how it goes.” McAdoo said. ”We’ll get in there and do a little bit of work (Saturday). Then tomorrow, we’ll go in and have our launch day. We’ll take a look at him tomorrow and see how it goes.
”It’s a medical decision. We’re just seeing his level of confidence and where he is sticking his foot in the ground. Communication is a two-way street. It’s visual and verbal.”
McAdoo was asked if he would consider using Beckham if he wasn’t 100 percent physically.
”That’s tough to say,” McAdoo said. ”The biggest thing is you don’t want to put a player out there that is going to do any harm to himself or injure himself any more than he is. It is an injury. It’s a tough injury. He’s fighting through it and doing everything he can to get back, but we’re going to be smart with him. We’re going to do what’s best for the player.”
Earlier in the week, Beckham called his injury a ”six-to-eight week thing.” The injury took place four weeks ago.
”As bad as I wanted to play (last Sunday night in Dallas), it just wasn’t there,” Beckham said after practice Thursday. ”As much as I was trying my hardest to get out there, it just wasn’t enough time. If it’s hurting, the doctors are going to hold you. I want to play that bad. I’m working my best to get to 100 (percent), so once I do get there, there won’t be any more problems. At the moment, we just don’t know. We’re just kind of day to day. It’s getting better, so we’re going in the right direction.”
When asked Thursday if he could play Monday night, Beckham replied, ”I can’t tell you that right now, but I’m trying my hardest, that’s for sure. I’m looking forward to it. Prime-time game on Monday night, you want to be in it.”
Beckham also said he doesn’t want to reinjure the ankle and have a setback.
”You can set yourself back for another five to six weeks,” Beckham said. ”I don’t have that luxury right now. So it’s a matter of getting to a point where you know you’re confident, where you can go and you don’t have to worry about it. Until that moment comes, we’re being smart with it and staying on top of it.”
Starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who practiced Saturday after dealing with hand and ankle injuries, knows how important Beckham is to the Giants’ fortunes.
”I think it gives them (the Lions) a sign of relief,” Jenkins said. ”At the end of the day, it’s about being healthy when you’re on the field. Until then, we’re just going to play great defense. Hopefully the offense will come along with or without Odell. We’re going to control what we can control.”
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul agreed that the Giants are a different team with Beckham.
”Odell is a special person,” Pierre-Paul said. ”He’s the best wide receiver in the league. At the same time, we have to do what we have to do if he can’t go. If Odell can’t go, he can’t go. Only Odell knows if he can go. I feel like anybody with a special talent like that lifts up the whole team. You can’t look towards one guy to lift up a team. We can’t depend on one guy, otherwise you’ll never find yourself in the same place. Odell is a special kind of player and hopefully he is able to go, but if he’s not, the next guy has to step up. That’s basically what it is.”
Meanwhile, starting middle linebacker B.J. Goodson didn’t practice. The second-year pro, who made 18 tackles in the loss to Dallas, left Friday’s practice with a lower leg injury. Goodson is questionable along with Beckham and reserve offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (shin).
The listing of the Goodson injury seemed to come out of nowhere Saturday morning.
”It’s something that has been bothering him over the last couple of days,” McAdoo said. ”The injury happened (Friday). It got sore as practice went on, so we pulled him out.”
Linebacker Keenan Robinson was ruled out of Monday’s game as he goes through the concussion protocol.
Starting right tackle Bobby Hart’s sprained ankle improved enough to have Hart taken off the official NFL injury report. Hart practiced fully Saturday, as did defensive tackle Jay Bromley (knee), cornerback Jenkins (hand, ankle) and wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle).
McAdoo believes his team will be ready for its home opener Monday night.
”We had a great week of practice,” the second-year head coach said. ”(Friday) was a tremendous day. Our tempo was good and the energy was good. We had some physicality and we had some things to clean up like we always do after practice.”
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