British fans of American football presumably are eager to get an in-person look at Odell Beckham, Jr., on Sunday, but they might not know until game day whether that is in the cards.
The Giants receiver practiced on a limited basis because of a hip injury Thursday before the Giants left for London, and afterward was noncommittal about his level of fitness.
“Better than [Wednesday],” he said. “So I’ll just keep it going from there and see how I feel.”
Beckham said he would try to stay loose by moving around on the plane but added, “It’s going to be tough. I tend to sleep on the plane. It’s really the only time I can get away from everybody, everything, all the outside stuff that goes on.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said of Beckham’s status, “We’re very optimistic. We’re very hopeful, obviously. We’ll wait and see how it transpires.”
Even after his 222 receiving yards against the Ravens last weekend, Beckham received another round of criticism from many fans and media members for his antics, in particular his complicated relationship with kicking nets.
Even quarterback Eli Manning and coach Ben McAdoo weighed in. “It’s funny,” Beckham said. “The joke was on me and now it’s more so on you all [reporters] and you don’t like it that I mess around with the kicking net now, after it was a lot of fun recently and now it’s not so much fun because I have had a lot of fun with it, so it’s still pretty funny to me.”
Asked about current and former players who have suggested he cut it out, he said, “Just playing football. That’s the bottom line.”
When a reporter jokingly referenced the fact his sweater had holes in it and asked whether he needs money for new clothes, Beckham answered, “I can’t pay for full clothes. I get fined every week.”
Manning overheard the exchange from his nearby locker and jokingly chimed in: “Whose fault is that?”
Rashad Jennings was inactive for three games because of a thumb injury, then returned and ran nine times for 15 yards against the Ravens. But Sullivan said he saw good things in practice this week. “He looks as if he’s getting back into that Week 1, Week 2 form,” the coordinator said . . . Eli Apple (groin) practiced on a limited basis. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said he hopes to have him back Sunday but added “we’ll have to be smart about it” to avoid a setback . . . Spagnuolo was the Rams’ coach from 2009-11. Does facing them have extra meaning? “[This is the] Los Angeles Rams; that was in St. Louis,” he said, smiling. “Not really, not really. We’ve played a lot of teams already this year that I’ve been to.” The Rams will be the fourth of the Giants’ first seven opponents for which Spagnuolo worked at one point in his career.
With Bob Glauber