Odell Beckham Jr. took part in team drills for the first time in two weeks on Wednesday, and even caught a touchdown pass in 11-on-11 snaps. But the Giants' first-round pick said he is still holding back, running at about 85 percent of his capacity due to a hamstring strain that has marred his first swing through offseason workouts.
"It felt good to be able to get out there and run around and be part of the offense," Beckham said. "I knew I was going to do some live stuff and it was at my own discretion ... It felt tight at the beginning of practice and I was on the side doing my own thing trying to warm up. I got loose towards the end of practice and I was able to open up a little bit but still not 100 percent."
Tom Coughlin said on Tuesday that there was no need to risk having Beckham on the field beyond individual drills, but he changed his mind on Wednesday.
"We got him in there for a little," he said. "He came out of the training locker room and sprinted over to that cart over there and I thought, 'Well, maybe he can run 20 yards.'"
Beckham said he has sought advice from his mother, Heather Van Norman, and his step-father Derek Mills, both of whom were track stars and sprinters (she an eight-time All-American at LSU, Mills an Olympic gold-medalist in 1996). They have told him to improve his hydration and not rush the healing of the injury.
"Hamstring injuries, they linger for a while," he said. "I don't want to open up too much with the hamstring, you never know what can happen. It's one of those injuries that are very nagging so you don't want to push it too much."
That's easy to say but not so easy to do when you are a rookie, a first-round pick, and wanting to make a positive impression for your new team.
"Trying to get back as fast as possible but not risk re-injuring it," he said is the balancing act.
Eventually, though, the thing that drove Beckham back on the field may have been boredom.
Rolling his eyes after two weeks of sideline work, he said: "You can only take so many mental reps."