Hamstring keeps Odell Beckham Jr. out at Giants minicamp
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Odell Beckham Jr. didn't have much of a minicamp with the New York Giants.
Bothered again by a hamstring injury, the dynamic wide receiver spent the past three days working in straight lines with trainers; talking with the also-injured Victor Cruz; taking mental notes on the field; and soaking in classroom sessions for a second season in coordinator Ben McAdoo's version of the West Coast offense.
It wasn't fun. Neither was being teased by teammates about another `hammy' injury.
The NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year wants nothing more than to play, so being a spectator at the minicamp was a hardship - one Beckham clearly did not want to talk about with the media after the workouts ended Thursday. He left the locker room even though the team said he would be available for interviews.
Beckham's injury is a concern. He missed the first four games of his rookie season after hurting his hamstring in early training camp, and now there is a second hamstring injury.
Coach Tom Coughlin is worried. He thought Beckham would be ready for minicamp and he wasn't. The plan is now for Beckham to be ready when the team reports for training camp July 30.
''He feels better, but he needs to feel a whole lot better,'' Coughlin said.
When Beckham is healthy, the Giants' offense is explosive. In just 12 games last season, he caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. The first-round draft choice created an Internet frenzy with a one-handed catch against Dallas, and he tied Hall of Famer Michael Irvin's NFL record with nine consecutive games of 90 yards receiving.
Some might think Beckham will have a hard time matching those numbers in his second season. Receivers coach Sean Ryan isn't one of them. He said Beckham might have caught some teams by surprise last season, but everyone knew about him as the season progressed.
''By the time we played these teams in Games 12-16, teams knew who he was,'' Ryan said. ''He wasn't catching them by surprise then. His productivity was still outstanding. I don't worry about it. We will be creative with him and all of our players, like we always are. We will do our best to put them in the best positions in our scheme, and I think a little too much is made of that.''
Denying Beckham the ball will open up other options for Eli Manning.
''I think it is important for all of us to have success to alleviate the pressure he is probably going to see with defenses knowing who he is and the talent he has,'' Cruz said of Beckham. ''All of us have to have a good year. The better I do, the better Rueben (Randle) does, the better Larry (Donnell) does, the better Odell will do. It's a full team effort.''
McAdoo was creative using Beckham last season, lining him up in the slot, as the No. 1 receiver on the weak and strong sides, playing in the backfield, and putting him motion in the backfield.
Opponents had to find him first. Even when they did, he still made plays.
Running back Rashad Jennings doesn't think that will change this season.
''I think he will continue to grow, continue to be a pro and continue to make plays,'' Jennings said. ''What the outcome (is), as long as we are playing for the championship, I am sure that I can speak for Odell and say: `The stats are out the window.'''
McAdoo said it's too early to worry whether Beckham will be able to match his rookie season.
''When Odell gets healthy and gets back out there, we just need to get him and Eli connected and get the chemistry going there,'' McAdoo said. ''After that, the rest will take care of itself.''
Ryan added Beckham has one other thing working in his favor: He is super competitive.
''Last year, we would do a thing where every Friday I would give him a listing of the rookie receivers because it was a heck of class of rookie receivers,'' Ryan said. ''How many catches and yards and touchdowns they had, and certainly Week 5 he was down at zero and the other guys were up there. I think he thrives on challenges. You go out to Seattle and it is him versus Richard Sherman. I think that is what makes that guy tick. He is a true competitor.''
NOTES: Archie Manning, Eli's father, attended the final day of the minicamp. ... Coughlin would not say whether the Giants would continue using a drone to film practice this season. They experimented with one Wednesday, using it to videotape from an overhead view. ''There may be something to it. I'm not ready to say one way or another. I wouldn't want to stand in the way of the advancement of technology.''
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