Posted on September 17, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
There is growing optimism from the New York Giants that wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be able to play in Monday’s Week 2 game against the Detroit Lions. However, nothing is set in stone just yet. ESPN‘s Adam Schefter cites a source that says whether Beckham is able to return Monday remains “up in the air.”
Beckham missed the end of the preseason after suffering an ankle injury. He was able to go through pre-game warmups in Week 1 but was ultimately listed as inactive. Beckham appears to be trending in the right direction, making it seem like he will make his season debut sooner rather than later.
However, Beckham revealed that he wasn’t all that close to playing against the Cowboys last week. He also admitted earlier in the week that he’s dealing with a 6-to-8 week injury. Such a timeline would indicate that he still has a few more weeks to recover. Beckham’s injury occurred roughly four weeks ago.
But the star receiver has found a way to return to practice this week, albeit in a limited capacity. He took to the practice field on Thursday and Friday, doing so for the first time since the injury. According to reports, he ran routes without the defense present and took part in a few other drills.
“He looked good. Looked like he’s improving,” Giants receiver Roger Lewis said of Beckham.
However, Beckham remains questionable to play Monday night and figures to be a game-time decision.
“He responded well to treatment,” Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said after practice Friday. “He responded well to his work (Thursday). Got a little bit more (Friday), but he’s still limited.”
Naturally, Beckham is itching to get back on the field. More importantly, the Giants need him. New York’s offense was largely stagnant without him in Week 1. Part of the credit should go to the Dallas defense. But the fact that the Giants only managed three points seems to be directly related to Beckham’s absence.
Without Beckham to draw the attention of the defense, Brandon Marshall managed just one catch. Running back Shane Vereen led the team with nine catches, as the Giants struggled to push the ball downfield, a dimension Beckham usually gives them. Quarterback Eli Manning had just 33 passing yards in the first half, showing what a huge adjustment it is to playing without Beckham as an option.
But as much as the Giants need Beckham back on the field, the Giants don’t appear ready to rush him back before he’s ready.
“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,” McAdoo said Saturday. “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.”
McAdoo’s assessment doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence that Beckham will play Monday night. How Beckham fares during Sunday’s workout and pre-game warmups on Monday will determine whether he plays or not. Right now, the Giants are optimistic that Beckham will be able to play Monday. But there are no guarantees.