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Odell Beckham Jr. cleared to participate in drills

Giants wide receiver and first round draft

Giants wide receiver and first round draft pick Odell Beckham Jr. walks off the field following team practice during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday, July 27, 2014. Credit: Brad Penner

The Giants drafted Odell Beckham Jr. to play football. On Monday he'll be able to.

The first-round pick who has been sidelined since the opening day of training camp with a strained hamstring and who missed most of the spring workouts with a similar injury has been cleared to participate in individual drills with the team on Monday. Tom Coughlin said if all goes well and Beckham feels well, he might be allowed to do a little bit more than just that too.

Individual drills for receivers typically consist of running routes and catching passes, mostly without a defender. There are times the receivers will also work on their release from the line of scrimmage against each other. It is usually a non-contact portion of the practice early in the workout.

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 on Thursday that he thought he was close to a return, but cautioned how tricky hamstring injuries can be.

"With a hamstring, it's that last leg that you need," he said. "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 have been targeted by an Eli Manning pass in two preseason games.

"It's preseason and we're not putting everything out there, 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," Manning said on Saturday night.

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."

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