Odell Beckham, Jr. has had a frustrating start to his career with the Giants — New York’s first-round pick has yet to see the field against meaningful competition since he was back in college at LSU. But at practice on Wednesday, Beckham finally had a reason to smile.
“It was a deep post and I caught it in the end zone,” Beckham said Wednesday afternoon. “[It was] just that feeling of being back. You could put this behind you and move forward. It’s so satisfying.”
Beckham put in a full practice with the team Wednesday — no running on the side, no rehabbing — and made it through without reaggravating the hamstring injury that has sidelined him since this summer. The Giants are expressing cautious optimism about making his debut Sunday at home against Atlanta, but the team has seen positive signs in the past that haven’t stuck. According to Tom Coughlin, it’s the next practice on Thursday that will be the real test, but Beckham expects to feel just fine.
“I feel good, I will be ready [Thursday],” Beckham said. “I feel better than I have been feeling. Just keep pushing it and keep going forward.”
Fans, media and teammates alike have been forced to just wait and hope regarding his injury, but no one is more anxious to put it behind him than Beckham. It’s a long, winding road so far for the rookie, who promised to bring much-needed explosiveness on the outside for the Giants offense. But that vision was derailed almost from the start, and he’s been forced to sit and watch the team’s first four games.
“Ever since I first got hurt I have been itching to get back out there. It is part of the reason why I maybe came back too fast and hurt it again,” he said. “Just seeing them making plays and knowing you are a part of that and you want to be out there, it’s the hardest thing to sit back and watch.”
But as much as he enjoyed being a cheerleader — “Watching Eli run for a touchdown, I remember jumping up and down,” he said — Beckham is simply relieved to have the opportunity to focus on an opponent instead of his hamstring.
“[Today] definitely felt different from when you are on the side and you are trying to make sure you are getting right,” he said. “Then you are coming out here [and practicing] taking plays from the offense and you are running routes and you are in a scheme. I thank God every day for getting me healthy and having the opportunity and the ability to run out on the field.”