With Beckham and Marshall hurt, free agents showing stuff
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) With Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall nursing injuries, a couple of young wide receivers are getting a chance to show the New York Giants what they can do.
Roger Lewis Jr. and Travis Rudolph came to training camp looking for jobs, and with the season opener against Dallas less than three weeks away the pair remains in the running to make the roster.
Obviously, the more important news Wednesday was the status of Beckham (ankle) and Marshall (shoulder), who were injured in Monday night’s preseason game in Cleveland.
Coach Ben McAdoo did nothing to update their situations. They are being listed as day to day and the team is waiting to see how they respond to treatment.
Marshall stood on the sideline and watched practice, occasionally talking to his fellow receivers. Beckham was in the team’s headquarters getting treatment.
The closest thing to an update on his status was defensive end Olivier Vernon saying the three-time Pro Bowler was in good spirits and he expected him to be ready for the Cowboys.
In their absence, Lewis had a great day, catching several passes over the middle and hooking up with Eli Manning on one long pass.
When he caught the deep ball, he looked like Beckham in that his body was twisted looking back for the pass and his No. 18 looked like Beckham’s No. 13.
”I think Roger had a great day of practice. Showed up ready to go,” McAdoo said. ”Worked hard. Got a lot of reps on the special teams and on offense. Made some nice catches down the field on some post balls and some go balls and on some flies. Had a very productive day. Took advantage of his opportunity.”
A free agent out of Bowling Green, Lewis was on the Giants roster last season and played in the final 13 regular-season games and the playoff contest against the Packers, finishing with seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
His status this year was clouded by an arrest in Ohio in early June for operating a vehicle while impaired. Police say he was in possession of 0.2 grams of marijuana, and suspected he was under the influence of alcohol.
The driving-while-impaired charge was dismissed just before training camp opened, but Lewis had to pay $175 in court fees and fines.
Lewis never felt the off-the-field incident would cost him a job.
”It all came out,” said Lewis, who has had two catches for 21 yards in the preseason. ”I didn’t look at it as anything, just a time to get back to work.”
Lewis said he has benefited from constant teaching by Beckham and Marshall.
”I am asking those guys every day I go home,” Lewis said. ”I am looking at what they are doing in practice. I can hit up Odell. I can go up to Brandon Marshall and ask what I should do on this route and this route.”
Rudolph’s story is even more interesting. He left Florida State early to enter the NFL draft this year and was not picked. The disappointment came just after his father was killed in a freak accident shooting in a strip club where he was doing repair work.
”The chances are coming all well,” Rudolph said Wednesday. ”Every opportunity I have, I’m going to work.”
Rudolph, who has three catches for 30 yards in the preseason, also has been returning punts and kickoffs. He has averaged 22 yards on kickoff returns, but also had a fumble that the Giants recovered in the preseason opener.
The Giants receivers have had their share of injuries. Sterling Shepard is back from an ankle injury early in camp. Dwayne Harris is dealing with an upper body injury. Tavarres King re-injured an ankle on Monday night and did not practice Wednesday. Darius Powe (hamstring), Andrew Turzilli (hamstring) and Kevin Norwood (hip) all have been waived injured.
NOTES: Veteran LB Mark Herzlich (stringer) was back at practice, but he wore a no-contact jersey. … CB Eli Apple (ankle) also was back on a limited basis. … CB Valentino Blake did not practice for undisclosed reasons. … Vernon was impressive covering Browns TE David Njoku 30 yards downfield. ”I didn’t realize it was him before the down. But, I’ve got something for him after the season.” …Backup G Brett Jones got some first-team reps at right guard in place of John Jerry.
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