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Odell Beckham injures hamstring, but gets back in to draw key interference penalty

Odell Beckham of the New York Giants runs

Odell Beckham of the New York Giants runs a reception in the first half against NaVorro Bowman of the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Odell Beckham Jr. has shown he has a flair for the dramatic when he's on the field. On Sunday night, he showed the same while on the sideline.

The Giants played most of the fourth quarter without their top playmaker and best receiver, who already had caught seven passes for 121 yards and a touchdown when he left with a hamstring injury.

While his teammates were on the field trying to give the Giants the win, Beckham was attempting to convince the coaches and medical staff that he could return to the game.

He eventually did for the final three plays, and though he didn't catch any more passes, he drew an important pass-interference penalty that set up the winning touchdown.

"You gotta go," Beckham said of his push to get back in the game. "There's nothing more to it. Like I said multiple times before, this is what I love, this is my passion, this is everything. There's no way in a moment like that that you can't step up. I felt as if I let the team down by being out for a while and you just gotta put it all together, man."

Given Beckham's history with hamstring issues -- he missed the first four games last season with one that nagged him throughout his record-setting rookie year -- it's surprising that the Giants acquiesced to his pleas.

Tom Coughlin was asked if he was reluctant. "Sure I was," he said. "We were trying to win a game. He wanted to go. The medical people said let him go. I let him go. We'll see what he is like tomorrow."

Beckham caught the touchdown pass late in the third quarter that gave the Giants a 20-13 lead. He celebrated with a vigorous dance that included a salsa in honor of Victor Cruz, followed by some heavy leg movements. Then he came to the sideline and met with members of the medical staff.

It almost appeared as if he might have injured himself on the dance.

"Ha, no," Beckham said, laughing. "It was probably five or six plays before the touchdown going down to that end. I just felt something, like a little bite. You know what it is when you've had something like that and you know the issues that it could cause."

Beckham spent the fourth quarter as a restless observer. He paced the sideline with his helmet alternately on and off. It appeared as if he had given up his quest to get back in the game, but with the Giants driving in the final minute, he began running on the side to prove to the doctors that he could play.

He nearly didn't get a chance to re-enter the game when Eli Manning's pass in the final minute appeared to be intercepted by Tramaine Brock. Replays overturned that would-be turnover -- and also stopped the clock and gave the Giants time to get their star back on the field.

"I grabbed him to make sure," Coughlin said. "He wanted to go in and win."

It would have been a tremendous story if Beckham had caught the winning touchdown pass. Instead, it just becomes another story in his incredible young career.

Beckham said he does not expect the hamstring injury to keep him sidelined. The Giants' next game is next Monday against the Eagles.

"It won't be long at all," he said. "I've just got to get in, do a little strengthening, rehab the next couple of days. I know we have some days to relax and rehab, so I'll be on it pretty heavy starting tonight, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, leading up to next week . . . I'm not worried."


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