Odell Beckham Jr. will return to the field Monday, cleared to participate in drills for the first time since straining his hamstring on the first day of training camp.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the first-round pick will participate in individual drills at Monday's practice and could take a few team reps if he is feeling well enough. "If he can do a little more, then maybe he will do a little bit more," he said, "but if he can't, then we will keep it strictly with individual."
Individual drills for receivers typically consist of running routes and catching passes, mostly without a defender. Sometimes the receivers also work on their release from the line of scrimmage against each other. It usually is a noncontact portion of the practice early in the workout and is not at full speed.
Last week, Beckham was more active than he had been, running on the side with trainers, catching passes off a machine and a live quarterback, and fielding punts without returning them. He said Thursday he thought he was close to returning but added, "With a hamstring, it's that last leg that you need. You feel like you're good to go but you're just not there yet. You rush back out there and you risk putting yourself back out with an injury."
Beckham's return coincides with the installation of the next phase of the Giants' offense, which will feature more down-the-field opportunities. The Giants believe Beckham's speed will allow him to be a deep threat and open up opportunities underneath for the likes of Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle, neither of whom has been targeted by a pass from Eli Manning in two preseason games.
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"It's preseason and we're not putting everything out there,'' Manning said Saturday night, "but I think over these next weeks, we'll start to get a little bit more and be a little bit more aggressive and see if we can make some plays."
Added Coughlin on Sunday: "I think some of the vertical is in, but we haven't seen the ball down the field very well. I certainly think that's coming."
Conner has concussion
Fullback John Conner came off the field Saturday after getting hit in the side of the head on a victory formation play and was diagnosed with a concussion. Coughlin said he will go through the concussion protocol but doesn't think he will be on the sideline for too long.
Coughlin praised cornerback Prince Amukamara for his hustle and solid angle in catching rookie Dri Archer on a 46-yard screen pass Saturday . . . Besides Conner, the Giants did not suffer any serious injuries. "We've got some nicks like you usually do," Coughlin said, "but there's nothing at this point in time that we need to discuss."